New laws to prevent children going to jail
The government is to rush in a new law after it emerged that two boys were detained in Schrassig prison for nearly three weeks.
Two Croatian youngsters, one aged 12 and the other 13, were reportedly imprisoned in Schrassig penitentiary for adults after they were accused of dozens of thefts around the country.
According to a response to a parliamentary question by justice minister François Biltgen, the pair were held from November 21 until December 7 because of a lack of appropriate facilities for juvenile offenders in Luxembourg.
Following public outcry at the treatment of the young people, Mr Biltgen this week announced an emergency meeting to be held on December 16 to introduce two new bills.
The laws will ensure that minors, aged 16 years old or under, will no longer be held in Schrassig except in serious criminal offences.
During their incarceration, the pair were kept away from adult interns at the prison and were supervised by two care specialists. They were released on the condition that they be removed from the country. Their parents will be called to appear in court in the future.
Mr Biltgen blamed a shortage of facilities for the youngsters' incarceration in the prison. A 2004 Act provides for the creation of a security unit for young offenders in Dreiborn. However, this law has been dogged by red tape and is not expected to be implemented until 2012.