Federal inmates in crowded Brazilian penitentiaries have been offered a new way to shorten their sentences and expand their knowledge of the liberal arts through the Redemption Through Reading program. 

Prisoners who volunteer to take part in the program are given a total of four weeks to read up to 12 works of literature, philosophy, science or classics, and then they are required to write a graded essay about their selection, Reuters reported.

According to prison officials, the inmates with passing essays will shave four days off their sentence for each book they read, for a maximum of 48 days each year.

However, Reuters reported that the grading process for the essays is stiff, citing that each submission must "make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and have legible joined-up writing."

Organizers of the program describe it as an opportunity to earn early release back into the world by gaining an enlightened view of it.

There was no word on how many inmates have signed up for the program, or if the submitted essays would be graded on a curve.

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