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Italian police have announced the arrests of 13 correctional officers and the suspension of 8 others who are accused of torturing juvenile detainees in Milan. 

The investigation involved Milan’s Cesare Beccaria juvenile detention center, where most of the guards worked. The inquiry was triggered by reports from the prisoners’ rights ombudsman and was supported by testimony from the male juvenile detainees, as well as wiretaps and camera footage from inside the facility. Prosecutors indicated that the alleged abuses have been ongoing from 2022 to the present. Despite staffing by 50 guards, the detention center has lacked a director for two decades.

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Milan’s chief prosecutor, Marcello Viola, described the situation as “a painful affair and a bad page in the history of the institutions.” According to Viola, the detainees were often handcuffed, unable to defend themselves, and subjected to beatings designed to leave no visible marks. Prosecutor Letizia Mannella said, “The suspects believed their actions were justified as educational, in response to bad behavior by inmates, but instead, this was unlawful violence.”

The main correctional officers union, SAPPE, expressed disappointment at the news of the investigation but said it was confident that the Italian judicial system would handle it. They added, “We know that the penitentiary guards throughout Italy operate with professionalism and humanity.” 


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