The Free to Choose scheme was introduced in Calabria, in 2012, in response to young children being primed for a life of violent crime.

According to the AFP news agency, the policy has seen around 150 children taken from mob families and placed into foster care in secret locations. In some cases, mothers followed the children and testified against mafia bosses.

Credits: envato elements; Author: Iakobchuk;

Following its reported success, the scheme is set to be rolled out in two other mafia strongholds: Sicily and Naples.