Since Justice Minister Roswitha Muller-Piepenkotter (CDU) took office in 2005, there have been a number of scandals and mishaps in the North Rhine-Westphalian judiciary.
– The torture murder in the Siegburg youth prison shocked a broad public in November 2006. At the time, three young men had tortured and raped a 20-year-old fellow inmate. Afterwards they forced their victim to hang himself. The crime sparked a debate about conditions in North Rhine-Westphalia's prisons.- In spring 2008, a series of suicides shook the prisons in NRW. The prevention of suicides is to be further improved with the help of psychologists, the minister announced at the time.- After media reports on allegations of abuse and cases of violence, the Gelsenkirchen correctional facility (JVA) gets new management in February 2009.- At the beginning of July 2009, it became known that the Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Dusseldorf had released a suspected sex offender from Viersen from pre-trial detention. Muller-Piepenkotter then dismissed the head of the public prosecutor's office in Monchengladbach with immediate effect.- Nearly 900 cases of prisoners suing for inhumane housing are currently underway in the country's courts. Numerous inmates were successful with their lawsuits.- On 26. November 2009 two serious criminals break out of the Aachen correctional facility. Apparently, a prison employee helped them in the process.