Fifty Palermo boys are under observation by the Prosecutor's Office for minors which plans to remove them from the family environment where drugs are circulated and trafficked.
State lawyer Annamaria Palma announced this in her speech at the inauguration of the judicial year.
"The Prosecutor's Office for minors - he said - has launched an unprecedented project, based on some recent episodes".
Five children in the last few weeks have ended up in hospital for having ingested drugs at home.
Others were caught by the police as they helped their parents package drugs for sale.
These are children who do not go to school (evasion in Palermo reaches 27%) and are involved in criminal activities: two thousand proceedings started with underage defendants.
Sicily is the third Italian region where more drugs are sold.
The traffic is managed, even with the complicity of prison officers and prisoners.
"It is a categorical imperative - said Anna Maria Palma - to defend the smallest and the most fragile".