Sunday, July 15, 2012

In Brazil read your way out of prison

The Brazilian government recently announced that four federal prisons — which house some of Brazil's most notorious criminals — will begin a "Reading through Redemption" program in which prisoners can reduce their sentence by 48 days each year for reading up to 12 books, according to Reuters.

Inmates can also trim four days off their sentence by writing an legible and pertinent essay about a work of literature, philosophy, science or classics.

A 2010 report found that there are 440,864 prisoners in Brazil’s prison system, that have a capacity of 299,597 meaning that prisons are 140,000 over capacity. The law already provides for one day less in prison for every three days of performed labor, but the new measures will accelerate the pace at which prisoners may shorten their sentences.

Incarceration rates in Brazil are still relatively low compared to other countries. The U.S. has five times as many people incarcerated as Brazil.

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