Reading offers Brazilian prisoners quicker escape

BRASILIA Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:26pm EDT

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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)

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Comments (13)
oldtimer78 wrote:
I applaud the authorities’ wisdom. The inmates’ essays should show they have read the book. Their standard of use of language will improve, and even their outlook on life should lead to a better life than they led before being convicted.
True rehabilitation.

Jun 25, 2012 1:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JAGIO wrote:
Free of corrections? Is this some kind of joke? This would be unrealistic even in an university system. I would fail all my undergrads if there was such a requirement. I won’t probably finish this text without committing an error.

But here is my major concern. In a system that can’t prevent inmates from having access to cel phones, allowing them to run a full operation while still locked up….how the rec I am supposed to believe there wouldn’t be a mafia selling those reviews???? Most likely, inmates would not even be able to get close to a book without some money.

Jun 26, 2012 12:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dwilliams3 wrote:
What a great idea! Whoever thought of it should be congratulated. Someone has finally figured out what “rehabilitation” means. I hope other institutions take notice.

Jun 27, 2012 12:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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