BRAZIL is to offer prisoners in its crowded jails a novel way to shorten their sentences - by cutting four days for every book they read.

Inmates 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 four federal prisons involved in the scheme hold some of Brazil’s most notorious criminals, reports the Daily Telegraph. 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 a government spokesman.–TG