Justice ministry confirms report of torture in juvenile prison


According to the report, the two stand accused of trying to get the 18-year-old to commit suicide by beating him with a broomstick and pouring boiling water on him.


Out of fear, the attacked inmate attempted to hang himself in his cell but was unsuccessful. After seeing that he survived the attempted suicide, the attackers then attempted to strangle him with a belt but failed in their attempts. The victim was able to escape and alert the guards.


Before the beatings, the inmates, at this point together with other inmates, allegedly painted swastikas on their victim.


The juvenile detention center at SiegburgBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  The incident in Saxony recalls a similarly heinous case in Siegburg in 2006


Not the first case of juvenile torture in Germany


This latest case, which allegedly happened in May 2008, is similar to a brutal murder that took place inside a juvenile prison in 2006. In that case, three inmates at the Siegburg detention center near the western city of Bonn tortured a fellow inmate for hours, raping and beating him unconscious. The three then hung their victim, in an attempt to make it appear as if the victim had taken his own life.


The state of North Rhine-Westphalia found all three inmates guilty, with the main attacker receiving a further ten years in a maximum security prison. The other attackers both received 10 years in prison.


Critique of the inmate "re-socialization" process


This latest case of juvenile inmate torture has aroused debate in Germany, particularly with regard to the question of how to deal with juvenile delinquents effectively.


Klaus Bartl, a speaker for the Left Party, says the heinous nature of this crime is a sign that the current system isn't working.


"This horrible incident is yet further evidence that the juvenile prison in Saxony doesn't help its inmates. It does the opposite of what it says it should, which is to "re-socialize" them and stop them from using so much violence."


The Regis-Breitingen juvenile detention center is the most modern of its kind in Saxony. The prison has room for almost 400 inmates and was opened on October 5th, 2007.


Less than one month after its opening, one of its inmates, a 21-year-old charged with murder, committed suicide in his cell.