Brazil announced yesterday that it will implement a new program called “Redemption through Reading” at four federal prisons. Inmates will have the opportunity to shave up to 48 days off their sentence each year by reading 12 works of literature, philosophy, science, or classics. Each prisoner will have four weeks to read a book of their choosing and compose an essay that is structurally and grammatically sound. A special panel will select a group of prisoners to participate in the new program. (It’s unclear, but I am assuming that the same panel will evaluate the work prisoners submit.)
The “Redemption through Reading” program aims to present a constructive solution to Brazilian penitentiary system’s issue of overcrowding. Andre Kehdi, a Sao Paulo attorney who directs a book donation program for prisons, is very excited for the program, noting that it allows a person to “leave prison with a more enlightened and with an enlarged vision of the world.”
“Without doubt they will leave a better person,” he said.