Brazilian prisoners to trim sentences through reading

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Authorities in Brazil are pursuing a novel way to help rehabilitate criminals: shorter sentences for reading books, Reuters reports.

Some prisoners in four federal jails will be able to reduce their sentences by four days for every work of literature, philosophy, science or classics they read. The inmates will have up to four weeks to complete a book and must then write a properly formatted essay. The government announced this week that a prisoner can cut a maximum of 48 days off their sentence each year.

Eligible participants in the "Redemption through Reading" program will be determined by a special panel.

"A person can leave prison more enlightened and with an enlarged vision of the world," said Sao Paulo lawyer Andre Kehdi, who leads a book donation project for prisons.

"Without doubt they will leave a better person."

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