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Reading Books Shortens Prisoners’ Sentences In Brazilian Prison

Inmates in four federal prisons holding some of Brazil’s most notorious criminals 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 government announced.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 the notice published on Monday in the official gazette.

(via Reading Books Shortens Prisoners’ Sentences In Brazilian Prison)

Reading Books Shortens Prisoners’ Sentences In Brazilian Prison

Inmates in four federal prisons holding some of Brazil’s most notorious criminals 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 government announced.

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 the notice published on Monday in the official gazette.

(via Reading Books Shortens Prisoners’ Sentences In Brazilian Prison)

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Visitors’ days—namely Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday—are special times for the inmates. It’s our chance to have some contact with our family and friends. But for me, these days are just like all the others because my family has totally abandoned me; no relatives ever visit. “After all that political nonsense and the books where you criticize Paul Biya…” That’s how their thinking goes.
Read the 2012 prison journal of Cameroon’s Enoh Meyomesse.
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Charles Norman was awarded First Place in poetry in the 2012 Prison Writing Contest.


How Should I Look?


How should I look, or act? 

          I asked him, in answer when he said, 
You don’t look, or act like you’ve spent 
          that much time in prison. 
(Three decades, plus some change, meter running).
 
Should my eyes be crazed, glazed, unblinking, uncaring? 
Should my face be lumped and creased, 
          teeth rotted, gapped, and broken? 
Perhaps the nightmares I’ve lived have twisted me, 
          the brawls and beatdowns broken my back? 
Ought my arthritic hands shake, palsy from the deeds I’ve done, 
          Defend myself, offend thee, have blooded and bled 
                    The Dead who fell, unrisen to the bell? 
Do you wonder at my outward normalcy and doubt?

Did you expect to gaze upon faded blue teardrops 
          dripping from the corner of my sad eye, 
Or crude tattoos of zodiacs, hearts, forgotten names 
          of lovers cavorting, my neck encircled with blue dashes, 
                    subscripted, “cut on dotted line?”
Or rather you would frown at “LOVE’ and “HATE” paired 
          on the battered knuckles of each hand, endnotes 
          to jumbled creeds and symbols snaking down my arms?

Read the full piece at PEN.org

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Stephen David Long was awarded Second Place in drama in the 2012 Prison Writing Contest.


FADE IN:

INT. SPACESHIPNIGHT/OUTER SPACE

Film begins with pitch-black screen. Audio (1) is added: High-pitched smooth, electronic motor hum [whine]. Smooth hum goes pulsating erratically. Audio (2) is added to (1): 40 BPM high-pitched clicking. Pitch-black screen goes bright white. Audio (3) is added to (1) & (2): 120 BPM deep low hum. Audio (2) pitch is raised higher. Audio (4) is added to (1), (2), and (3): Constant harsh squeal [like auto-fan belt noise]. Reduce bright indistinguishable gray zones and shapes. Close up of a pair of large, round, shut eyes, then instantly opening. Then, blinking. Simulate a POV hurried movement, scrambling to gain control. Overhead rear view of shadowy human figure taking position in the seat at a control panel. Close up of a pair of hands manipulating dinner plate sized control discs [16 bank]. Hands go into a moderate panic trying to correct engine problem. Hands 16 control discs. Audios (1) through (4) cease. Add radar blip sound: audio (5). Soft pulsating white light goes normal/steady.

CUT TO:

INT. SPACESHIP—NIGHT/OUTER SPACE

Animation: spaceship tumbling out of control; to, ejecting E-pod; to, spaceship disintegrating; to, E-pod on a flight course.

Read More

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On Monday, November 26, join PEN Members and special guests for a reading of award-winning prose and poetry from the PEN Prison Writing Contest. Proceeds from the event help ensure that PEN’s hallmark program continues to promote the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing by providing hundreds of inmates with skilled writing teachers, free Handbooks for Writers in Prison, and a forum where inmates are encouraged to use the written word as a legitimate form of power. With Touré, Bryonn Bain, Staceyann Chin, Nick Flynn, Lily Taylor, and others

If you can’t attend, please sponsor an MFA writing student to go in your place!

This event will feature a special reading of poems and prose by incarcerated men and women from prisons that include: El Paso, Texas; Florence, Colorado; Ft Leavenworth, Kansas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Lexington, Kentucky; Montgomery, Alabama; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Ossining, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Riker’s Island, New York; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Tallahassee, Florida; Terre Haute, Indiana; Tucson, Arizona, and Washington, DC.

Monday, November 26, 2012
The Strand Bookstore’s Rare Book Room
Doors open at 7 pm; event begins at 7:30
$35 ($25 goes to ensure that this important program continues into the future)

In 2012, PEN’s Prison Writing Program:

• Distributed more than 8,000 copies of the PEN Handbook for Writers in Prison free of charge to men and women serving sentences throughout the United States.
• Connected over 100 mentors with writers in prison for one-on-one instruction
• Judged over 1,500 manuscripts in our Prison Writing Contest.
• Reprinted an Anthology Doing Time, with a new forward.

Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 Are Up 5,000 Percent on Amazon

Sales of one particular edition of George Orwell’s dystopian classic are up some 5,000 percent on Amazon.com in the past 24 hours, according to the site’s list of “movers and shakers.” The figure was as high as 7,000 earlier today… And in fact, there is at least one concerted activist campaign asking people to buy the book and send it to their representatives in Washington.

credit: colindunn

Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 Are Up 5,000 Percent on Amazon

Sales of one particular edition of George Orwell’s dystopian classic are up some 5,000 percent on Amazon.com in the past 24 hours, according to the site’s list of “movers and shakers.” The figure was as high as 7,000 earlier today… And in fact, there is at least one concerted activist campaign asking people to buy the book and send it to their representatives in Washington.

credit: colindunn

(Source: Slate)

“I remember my emotions the day we watched Nelson Mandela walk out of prison… Writing & literature in South Africa during the anti-apartheid years, became… a ‘cultural weapon.’ You had to use it to fight apartheid & some of us resisted that… in the end, you recognize that you are facing a government that has… no scruples about using culture & art to oppress you.” - Achmat Dangor

“I remember my emotions the day we watched Nelson Mandela walk out of prison… Writing & literature in South Africa during the anti-apartheid years, became… a ‘cultural weapon.’ You had to use it to fight apartheid & some of us resisted that… in the end, you recognize that you are facing a government that has… no scruples about using culture & art to oppress you.” - Achmat Dangor