But while are the UK is considering forcing people to become literate in order to claim benefits, jails in Brazil are slashing sentences for prisoners prepared to stick their noses in a book.

In four of Brazil’s prisons, some of the country’s most hardened crims will have the chance to read up to 12 works of literature, philosophy, science or classics to trim a up to 48 days off their sentence each year.

The lags will have four weeks to read each book and then produce an essay, which must “make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-up writing.”

It’s part of a programme called “Redemption through Reading”, truly a novel way to encourage education.

“A person can leave prison more enlightened and with an enlarged vision of the world,” said Sao Paulo lawyer Andre Kehdi, who heads a book donation project for prisons. “Without doubt they will leave a better person.”