Brazil: Reading books can reduce prison sentence

Brazil has a unique way of reducing the prison term of the inmates.

Inmates who read books during their time in prison get their imprisonment time reduced, as per a report by Reuters. Brazil is one of the most crime-prone places in Latin America. Brazil’s prisons have always been considered as places to be hosting some of the most dangerous people in the world along with many problems such as overcrowding and drug problems. Hence, adopting such a law has long been applauded by the country’s civil society. The law published in Brazilian National Gazette in 2012 states. “Inmates in four federal prisons holding some of Brazil’s most notorious criminals will be able to read up to 12 works of literature, philosophy, science or classics to trim a maximum 48 days off their sentence each year.”

In Brazil, most of the inmates generally come from very impoverished backgrounds with a shallow literacy level.

The authorities also test them as they have to write essays on their reading materials where the authorities judge the correct use of language and grammar. This step undertaken by the government has supposedly improved the situation a bit as many inmates are getting access to education, which might turn them away from crime in the future.