Book-Reading Prisoners Get Sentences Shortened

Eligible inmates in Brazil allowed to shave up to 48 days off their sentence each year

By Andrew Wine
|  Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012  |  Updated 11:23 AM PDT
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Book-Reading Prisoners Get Sentences Shortened

Donated books will be used by selected inmates in Brazil to shave almost 50 days a year off their prison sentences.

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Brazil's government has started a read and release program for inmates that could help ease overcrowded prisons.

Inmates in four federal prisons will have the opportunity to cut their sentence by four days for every book they read, according to Reuters. Eligibility will be determined by a panel representing the program, called “Redemption through Reading,” with inmates able to shave up to 48 days off their sentence each year they’re incarcerated, according to Reuters.

For each book read, inmates must write a coherent and error-free essay after having a month to complete the book, Reuters reported. Enterprising, fast-reading inmates will be limited to 12 books a year.

This practice has been used in the United States as well, according to the New York Daily News. A federal judge in California permitted the release of a man accused of trying to sell a grenade launcher to undercover federal agents if he read for at least one hour a day and spent an additional half hour writing up a report.
 

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