Wednesday 28 May 2014

Quick Hits: Books in Prison

In contrast to the UK government which recently banned the sending of books to prisoners in an attempt to implement an incentive scheme for good behavior, prisoners in Italy will soon have the opportunity to reduce their sentences by reading. Three days will be removed from a prisoner's sentence for each book read, to a maximum of 48 days per year (16 books each year). The books must be more than 400 pages in length and comic books will not count. Although the two schemes have been described as opposing, they do share some interesting parallels. In the UK, books are acknowledged to be a highly desired reward reflecting the powerful interest that prisoners have in book and reading. And in the UK, the scheme acknowledges the positive impact that books can have on prisoner's. It is indeed a powerful combination that books may yield, being both beneficial and attractive to those in need of rehabilitation.

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