Brazilian prisoners pick up a book, get released sooner
Looking to get out of jail sooner in Brazil? Try getting Redemption through Reading.
If I ever get convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison, I hope it’s in Brazil.
A new law states that “prisoners in Brazil can reduce their sentence by 48 days per year of their sentence if they read 12 literary, scientific, philosophical [or classic] books a year,” according to Telefe Noticias.
Now don’t worry, not all prisoners are eligible to be a part of this program. A special panel was created to decide which inmates can and cannot participate, according to Reuters. They also report that four federal prisons will be enforcing this new law — the names of the prisons were not mentioned — but Reuters did report that these prisons hold “some of Brazil’s most notorious criminals.”
Interestingly referred to as “Redemption through Reading,” prisoners get 4 days off their sentence per every book they read, permitting they turn in a book report to be evaluated by prison authorities. According to Telefe Noticias, “with this law, every prisoner has a period of 30 days to read a literary work and can test up to 12 titles per year.”
The book review must “make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing,” as reported by The Guardian, which cited from a notice published on Monday in the official gazette. Apparently, that is easier said than done for most inmates. The Telefe Noticias article stated, “with a population of 191 million inhabitants, Brazil has 513,000 prisoners, [and] until 2005, it was estimated that 70% of [them] had not completed the cycle of basic schooling.”
“A person can leave prison more enlightened and with an enlarged vision of the world,” said São Paulo lawyer Andre Kehdi, who heads a book donation project for prisoners. “Without [a] doubt, they will leave a better person,” he was quoted saying in The Guardian article.
This report begs the question that if these inmates had read a book once in a while, or were properly educated, would they have ended up in their current situation? Lesson learned that a book a day — or every 30 days — can keep the prison sentence away — or reduce it.
(Photo from Good)