In Bolivia, the government has the program Books behind bars Launched. This should encourage prisoners to read books in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.
The prison sentence is reduced by reading books. This idea was launched by the Bolivian government in 47 prisons across the country Books behind bars† For example, the government hopes not only to improve literacy among detainees, but also to offer hope while they await trial. Legal procedures in Bolivia are known for their long waiting times, because prisons are overcrowded. Prisoners can now advance their release date by several days or even weeks by reading books.
Prisons where the initiative has already started often lack the financial resources to pay for the training or reintegration of prisoners. Books behind bars We will support them in this.
In addition to better education, the program should also provide incentives for prisoners awaiting trial. According to Nadia Cruz, Ombudsman of Bolivia, this is the main goal of Books behind bars† This is significant because the reduced sentence is relatively small, and in some cases takes hours or days, depending on what the board decides,’ Cruz said.
“The bars are disappearing”
So far, at least 865 prisoners have improved their reading and writing skills using different types of books. One of them is Jacqueline, who has not only read eight books this year, but has also passed four reading tests. “It’s very difficult for people like us who don’t have an income,” Jacqueline says. “There are people here who are just learning to write and read, for example.”
For Mildred, an inmate at the Abrajes Women’s Prison, books are essentially an escape from the prison walls. When I read, I am in direct contact with the entire universe. She says the walls and bars disappear for some time.
Redemption by reading
In 2012, the Brazilian government launched a similar initiative called Redemption by reading† There, prisoners can accumulate up to 48 days in prison per year by reading. For every book they read, they have to spend four fewer days in prison. Book types can range from classic literature to philosophical or scientific works.
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