BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil will offer inmates in its crowded federal
penitentiary system a novel way to shorten their sentences: four days less
for every book they read.
Inmates in four federal prisons holding some of Brazil’s most notorious
criminals will be able to read up to 12 works of literature, philosophy,
science or classics to trim a maximum 48 days off their sentence each year,
the government announced.
Prisoners will have up to four weeks to read each book and write an essay
which must “make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use
margins and legible joined-up writing,” said the notice published on Monday
in the official gazette.
A special panel will decide which inmates are eligible to participate in the
program dubbed “Redemption through Reading”.
“A person can leave prison more enlightened and with a enlarged vision of
the world,” said Sao Paulo lawyer Andre Kehdi, who heads a book donation
project for prisons.
“Without doubt they will leave a better person,” he said.
(Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Anthony Boadle)