An interesting move at Brazilian prisons steered up quite a media buzz, when Reuters reported: “Reading offers Brazilian Prisoners Quicker Escape”.
The Globe and Mail’s Paul Koring wrote
“For Brazilian convicts, summer reading may be far more than just a flight of fancy. It offers shorter sentences.”
Aside from a plethora of poor plays on words as the media seized on the story, the announcement that Brazil’s federal corrections program was offering to slice four days off a convict’s time (with a maximum of 48 days a year) for every book they read – and properly written book report submitted – rekindled a long-running debate about high rates of illiteracy among prisoners.”
From AbeBooks.com “Passion for Books”
Four federal prisons in Brazil are trying an interesting pilot program on their inmates. Known as the “Redemption Through Reading” program, eligible prisoners (as decided by a specially-appointed judging panel) will be allowed to shorten their sentence by four days for every book they read, to a maximum 12 books per year – meaning a diligent, eligible prisoner could shave 48 days off a year’s incarceration.
The inmates are limited in their book selections and must choose from an approved list of literature, philosophy, science or classics. To ensure actual work, understanding and retention, each participant is required to complete an essay for every book. Ironically, there is an AbeBooks.com page: “Books Behind Bars: The Best Prison Literature”
Gawker.com’s Neetzan Zimmerman added:
As part of a new rehabilitation initiative entitled “Redemption through Reading,” four federal prisons in Brazil will allow inmate to shave up to 48 days per year off their sentence in exchange for reading books. To prove they’ve read the books, convicts will be required to write book reports that “make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing.”
“A person can leave prison more enlightened and with a enlarged vision of the world,” Sao Paulo lawyer Andre Kehdi, head of a prison book donation project, told Reuters. “Without doubt they will leave a better person.”
My suggestion: Authors always scramble to get reviews. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to outsource books reviews to prisons. It could be a win-win situation for both: authors they can receive lots of reviews and prisoners – they have plenty of time to read : )
If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out previous posts (there are almost 500 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “Like” next to it.
Follow us on Twitter: @111publishing
And don’t forget to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or StumbleUpon – or other social networking sites of your choice) – other writers might also enjoy this blog and find it useful.