Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 26, 2012

Reading books, writing essays, leads to shorter prison sentences in Brazil


Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil — To tackle the country’s overcrowded prison system, lawmakers in Brazil came up with a novel idea to shorten sentences.

According to Reuters, lawmakers in Brazil passed a measure that would give days off their sentences for reading books considered “quality works of literature” and then writing a book report on each.

Criminals will be able to read up to 12 works of literature for a maximum of 48 days off of their sentence, the government announced. Prisoners will be given four days less for every book and essay they complete.

However, the essays will be graded by officials and prisoners will get no extra time served if there are mistakes. Essays submitted must “make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, and use margins as well as legible writing.”

A special panel has been created by the government to determine which prisoners will be allowed to participate in the program, which has been dubbed “Redemption through Reading.”