Brazil has taken an interesting step forward and is now rewarding inmates for enhancing their education. The federal penitentiary system is crowding, so in efforts to reduce the sentences of those convicted, inmates will have four days reduced from their sentence for every book they read.
The inmates can do this up to 12 times per year, knocking 48 days off their sentence annually.
Prisoners will have up to four weeks to read each book and
write an essay which must “make correct use of paragraphs, be
free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing,”
said the notice published on Monday in the official gazette.
A special panel will decide which inmates are eligible to
participate in the program dubbed “Redemption through Reading”.
Would suck to get one of those professors who takes off points for incorrect margins. Nonetheless, Brazil feels they are sending better and smarter people back out into the world.
A similar policy may be effective in the U.S. where, according to Maskar Design, one quarter of the world’s prisoners are housed. This yields $31,900 a year in costs per prisoner and sums to a total expense of 7 cents per tax dollar going to fund prisons and corrections.