Brazilian Inmates Read Their Way Out Of Jail

2 comments
Inmates Read Their Way Out Of Jail

Via Reuters

Four overcrowded federal prisons in Brazil are offering an interesting option to select prisoners: Read and write essays on works of literature, philosophy, and science to reduce their sentences by four days for every book completed.

Prisoners have one month to read each book and write a book report that must "make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing." The program, called Redemption Through Reading, allows avid readers to shave up to 48 days off their sentence every year. Lawyer Andre Kehdi, who runs a book donation project for inmates, says, "A person can leave prison more enlightened and with a enlarged vision of the world."

Despite statistics and analysis showing some strong links between literacy and crime levels, many U.S. prisons have no interest in helping inmates develop reading habits. Some, like a jail in South Carolina, have gone as far as to ban books other than the Bible. Do you think the U.S. or your home country should consider implementing a program like Brazil's?

Image via Meltwater

Image of Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian
Author: Avi Steinberg
Price: $12.28
Publisher: Anchor (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 416 pages
Image of Reading Is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women’s Prisons
Author: Megan Sweeney
Price: $27.81
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (2010)
Binding: Paperback, 352 pages
Kimberly Turner

News by Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is an internet entrepreneur, DJ, editor, beekeeper, linguist, traveler, and writer. This either makes her exceptionally well-rounded or slightly crazy; it’s hard to say which. She spent a decade as a journalist and magazine editor in Australia and the U.S. and is now working (very, very slowly) on her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two cats, ten fish, and roughly 60,000 bees.

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Comments

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading A lot of Brian Evenson June 26, 2012 - 7:33am

This says a lot:

Some, like a jail in South Carolina, have gone as far as to ban books other than the Bible.

Pearl Griffin_2's picture
Pearl Griffin_2 from Portland, Oregon is reading Les Miserables June 26, 2012 - 5:29pm

This is awesome! Especially since it costs more to send someone to prison than it does to send them to college.