Italian courthouse cafe offers prisoners jobs serving coffee to judges

Jailbirds in northern Italy will soon be able to offer judges a sweetener -- though serving up an extra smooth cappuccino is unlikely to be enough to get time off their sentences.

Italian courthouse cafe offers prisoners jobs serving coffee to judges
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The coffee shop in the courthouse of Turin is seeking baristas with an unusual professional background: prisoners or former prisoners looking for a way to pay their debt to society or start afresh.

The city council signed off Wednesday on the plan for the cafe, which serves some 900 court employees as well as hundreds of magistrates, lawyers and members of the public.

The bar, currently closed for management issues, will re-open in a few months, council spokesperson Michele Chicco told AFP. “This is part of efforts to humanise the detention of prisoners: having a job during the day, being in contact with clients, helps reintegrate offenders at the end of their sentences,” he said.

It was not clear what would happen if convicts armed with coffee beans came face to face with the prosecutors who nailed them.

READ ALSO: Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand

Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand

Photo: Red Flake/Flickr


Families demand justice as 50,000 march against Italian mafia

On a national day of remembrance, hundreds of bereaved relatives joined a march that culminated in front of Milan's Duomo cathedral, some carrying photos of their dead loved ones -- and many still waiting for justice.

Families demand justice as 50,000 march against Italian mafia

Two months after the arrest of Italy’s most-wanted mob boss shone a spotlight on the mafia, more than 50,000 people marched on Tuesday in Milan to remember their victims.

“It will be 28 years at the end of this month, and we are still searching for the truth,” said Paolo Marcone, 50, whose father was killed in 1995 by the mafia in Foggia, in Italy’s southeastern region of Puglia.

READ ALSO: ‘Very violent’: How Italy’s youngest mafia is terrorising the Puglia region

Francesco Marcone, a local official, had just returned home from work when he was shot in the back.

“Dad died on the stairs of the house. My sister found the body,” his son recalled.

The family believes he discovered something at work that he should not have, but “sadly the truth has not come out”, Paolo Marcone told AFP.

READ ALSO: Ruthless Sicilian mafia boss Messina Denaro’s reign of terror

“We need these days to keep the memories alive and at the same time to keep calling for justice and truth,” he said.

After all this time, “we are a bit disappointed and tired, but we never lose hope”.

Relatives of mafia victims held their photos during the demonstration in Milan. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

Police estimated the size of the crowd at 50,000 in Milan where, at the foot of the Duomo, a white sheet was laid out bearing the names of 1,069 victims.

Elisabetta Di Caterina, 52, joined the march in memory of her brother-in-law, Riccardo Angelo. She said he was killed in an ambush by the Camorra mafia in 1991 outside of Caserta, near Naples. He was 21.

The killer was caught and died in prison, she said, but added: “We ask for justice and the truth for all the families who are still waiting.”

Vincenzo Luciano, 55, lost his two brothers, Aurelio and Luigi, to the Foggia mafia in 2017, who “found themselves in the middle of a shoot-out”.

“It took the deaths of another two innocent people for the state to wake up and understand that the mafia was here,” he told AFP.

The Foggia mafia is considered Italy’s newest and most violent organised crime syndicate.

The event comes after the arrest in January of fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro, a Sicilian mob boss implicated in some of the Cosa Nostra’s most heinous crimes, after 30 years on the run.

This is the 28th year that Italy has celebrated its national day of remembrance for mafia victims.