Life imprisonment in Italy

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In Italy, life imprisonment (Italian: ergastolo) has an indeterminate length.

After 10 years (8 in case of good behavior) the prisoner may be given permission to work outside the prison during the day and/or to spend up to 45 days a year at home, and after 26 (or 21 in case of good behavior) years, they may be paroled. The admission to work outside the jail or to be paroled needs to be approved by a special court (Tribunale di Sorveglianza) which determines whether or not an inmate is suitable for libertà condizionata (parole).

Unless they co-operate with the authorities, prisoners sentenced for associations with Mafia activities and/or terrorism are ineligible for parole, and thus will spend the rest of their life in prison. An inmate that has received more than one life sentence is also required to spend a period of between 6 months and 3 years in solitary confinement.

Since 1994, the maximum sentence for a person under age 18 is 20 years' imprisonment.