BRASILIA, June 25 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)