Sentence reductions in Brazil

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.


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

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

Quite a good scheme, if implemented without corruption.

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

There's going to be a lot of people reading "The Old Man and the Sea."

So, Benefit of Clergy Lite?

I was kind of hoping you'd title this post "Very good sentences"...

Damn. I was going to write exactly the same. Well, not exactly, "Sentences to ponder". ;)


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

Can I get my kids in there?

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.

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

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.

"Copy-editors" s/b "copy editors."

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

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