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REUTERS: Reading offers Brazilian prisoners quicker escape

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BRASILIA, June 25 (Reuters) - Brazil will offer inmates in

its crowded federal penitentiary system a novel way to shorten

their sentences: 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.

A special panel will decide which inmates are eligible to

participate in the program dubbed "Redemption through Reading".

"A person can leave prison more enlightened and with a

enlarged vision of the world," said Sao Paulo lawyer Andre

Kehdi, who heads a book donation project for prisons.

"Without doubt they will leave a better person," he said.

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