In the US, prisons are overcrowded–more than our fair share. (According on a 2008 NYT article, the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners. So, it’s intriguing to see the solutions; countries are using to combat their overcrowding issues…  Brazil came up with an interesting enticement. 1 book = -4 days (incarceration).

For readers, that would be a no-brainer. You’d be reading multiple books a day, right?

For those who are in prison, though, it’s an interesting incentive, but also a potentially life-altering proposition.

After all, we’ve all heard the stories of prisoners who were able to change their lives, get degrees, and then emerge from jail much more prepared for life (and even careers).

As a reader, I love the power of reading and books, but there’s something very sad in the fact that those individuals were only able to accomplish all that they did (and have) because they were removed from negative influences and environments.


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