change language
you are in: home - friendsh...the poor - friends
in prison
- prison: ...ld apart - short se...sentence
newslettercontact uslink

Support the Community


Short Sentences Becoming a Life Sentence

printable version

Short Sentences Becoming a Life Sentence

At times mild crimes do not correspond to "mild" punishments. We often deal with trials where the defence has been entrusted to attorneys appointed by the Court and at times exercised without the charged person knowing about the very existence of the process. There are cases of people who, because of their precarious life style and marginalisation, were not accessible and, consequently, were not aware of what was happening. In these situations only by imprisonment do they come to know the news of the outcome of the trial.

Often the sentence is long because it constitutes the sum of many smaller sentences: they are like "little life sentences" given to people who repeatedly committed small crimes during a phase of their existence, even though they later on completely changed lifestyle.

For example, in prison we also meet many young people who, having left stories of drug use and having taken up a normal life, with work and a good family, have received, after many years, sentences related to old crimes. These sentences convict them to a long confinement. Prison in these cases destroys lives that have just been resurrected and all is lost: work, wives, children, hopes, dreams. The judiciary system does not seem to take into account the achieved rehabilitation.

In prison we also come across persons accused of serious crimes that are carrying out heavy sentences. Held to be dangerous, at times they are forgotten by former friends and live a terrible experience. During the imprisonment, the young people they were have become men and women who are frequently very different from when they committed their crimes. Becoming faithful friends means supporting these persons during the length of their imprisonment, helping them not to extinguish the desire for a possible future outside prison.


I want to speak of freedom, of future. I don't just want to continue to correspond with you by mail. That is why I wish you came here as soon as you can. In the last times I have been reading a lot. I find it a very good recreation instead of remaining inert, letting the time pass over my head and worn me out, inexorably becoming just one among many.

I am trying to react through reading...

November 7 2016

When violence is met with forgiveness, even the hearts of those who have done wrong can be conquered by the love

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT
October 28 2017

From the abyss to the light after 10 years: the true story of an injustice redeemed through love in Malawi

IT | EN | ES
May 3 2017

Nigeria: humanitarian aid to the women detained in Suleja Prison

IT | EN | ES | DE | PT | NL
June 1 2011

Cameroon: Growing effort to let the life in prison be more humane

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL | RU
May 10 2011

Palermo - The gates of the prison Pagliarelli have been opened

IT | EN | DE | FR | NL | RU
March 1 2011

Solidarity and friendship in the prisons of Cameroon: big party in Garoua, Douala and Maroua for the distribution of mattresses to inmates

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU
all news
May 26 2014
Il Mattino

Carcere minorile chance di recupero

January 2 2018
Il Messaggero - ed. Civitavecchia

La comunità di Sant'Egidio offre il pranzo ai detenuti

December 29 2017

Kenya, Natale in cella. Adesso arriva l'acqua

December 29 2017
La Stampa

Sant’Egidio e il pranzo della serenità nel carcere

November 24 2017
La Repubblica - Ed. Firenze

Fuori dal carcere: la guida per orientarsi in città

November 23 2017
Famiglia Cristiana

Quelle coperte che scaldano le notti degli ultimi di Roma

all press releases
Comunità di Sant'Egidio


Comunità di Sant'Egidio

Le carceri in Italia:tra riforma, sovraffollamento e problemi di bilancio. Analisi e proposte delle Comunità di Sant'Egidio

Comunità di Sant'Egidio

Mai così tanti in carcere nella storia dell’Italia Repubblicana

Comunità di Sant'Egidio


all documents