Sentence reductions in Brazil

by on June 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm in Books, Law | Permalink

Brazilian prisoners are now able to shorten their sentences by reading books and writing essays about them.

…four days less for every book they read.  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, the government announced.

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.

The story is here, and for the pointer I thank David Zetland.  Here is the Reddit discussion.

1 NAME REDACTED June 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

“make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing”
Subsidy to the middle class?

2 Rahul June 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Spike in sales of short books?
Market for shadow postal writers of summary essays?
Increase in status of educated prisoners?

3 sa June 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Quite a good scheme, if implemented without corruption.

4 Andreas Moser June 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

If I ever get arrested in Brazil, I hope they have books in English.

5 TheAJ June 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

There’s going to be a lot of people reading “The Old Man and the Sea.”

6 John Schilling June 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm

So, Benefit of Clergy Lite?

7 Brett Keller June 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I was kind of hoping you’d title this post “Very good sentences”…

8 londenio June 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Damn. I was going to write exactly the same. Well, not exactly, “Sentences to ponder”. 😉

9 Brian Donohue June 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm


10 Thor June 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I would only go along with this if they have to write essays making sense of important, brilliant and staggeringly profound thinkers like Zizek.

11 jorod June 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Can I get my kids in there?

12 FYI June 27, 2012 at 3:35 am

I love the comment above that says “Quite a good scheme, if implemented without corruption”. Brazilians jails cannot even enforce basic rules so I can only wonder how they will track who reads what. What they need in Brazil are supermax style prisons, and a much more stringent judicial system. This is just a stupid feel good policy to please the idiotic bureaucrats in power.

13 stuhlmann June 27, 2012 at 4:00 am

I wonder if something like this could be done in American schools?

14 Tracy W June 27, 2012 at 4:23 am

Given my experience with copy-editors, I’d predict that no one is going to produce a essay without corrections. Copy-editors even correct each other’s work (as in I’ve accepted a copy-editors corrections, the paper’s been reviewed again, and the corrections were themselves corrected). And they seem to be immune to threats and bribery.

15 case in point June 27, 2012 at 9:15 am

“Copy-editors” s/b “copy editors.”

16 freethinker June 27, 2012 at 7:42 am

how I wish some teachers in colleges in my state here in India can be sent to jail and released only if they finish reading some good economics books and journal papers specified by Tyler. At least the students will learn something useful rather than stuff from unbelievably mediocre textbooks the teachers use

17 louisok June 30, 2012 at 9:17 am

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