Long stints of lockdown served by five Victorian inmates bordered on cruel and inhumane, a judge says.
The young men had an extra four months added to their jail terms on Monday, after a botched escape bid and riot at the Melbourne Remand Centre in August 2012.
Patrick Meizys, 19, Sam Liszczak, 20, William Smith, 20, Andrew Foster, 20, and Joseph Haebich, 22, all pleaded guilty to rioting, property damage and recklessly causing injury.
Victorian County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo said the men had spent significant time in lockdown of up to 23 hours a day.
Judge Gucciardo questioned the need for the harsh regime, saying he couldn't see how it would benefit the men or society other than to punish and degrade them.
The judge also described the harsh regime of seclusion during a significant period of their lives as bordering on cruel and inhumane.
"Our criminal justice system must be better than that," he said.
The men scuffled in the cells before being brought into court, resulting in them having to be sentenced separately.
During the botched escape attempt, the five men scaled an internal wall of the maximum-security remand centre before throwing rocks at guards and windows.
They knocked down a pole and used it to destroy sensors and six CCTV cameras.
Three guards were injured, and it cost more than $320,000 to repair the damage and put on extra staff.
Judge Gucciardo said all the men were equally culpable for the incident.
He said their behaviour was inexcusable, left prison officers fearing for their safety and could have led to life-threatening injuries.
He added four months jail time onto the existing sentences for each of the men.
Judge Gucciardo said while his sentence may be considered lenient, it is appropriate and takes into account the lockdown periods.