Romania amends law enabling convicts to cut sentences by writing books
- 12 January 2016
- From the section Europe
Romania says it is changing a law that allowed prisoners to reduce their sentences by writing books.
Convicts could cut 30 days off their jail terms if they published a work of literature or science.
Justice Minister Raluca Pruna said abuse of the system had spiralled out of control, and the law was being changed by emergency decree.
Last year, convicts published more than 300 books - some churned out several books in record time.
"According to prison administration figures, the number of books published by detainees went from one a year between 2007 and 2010, to 90 in 2014, and 340 last year," Ms Pruna told a news conference.
"Given that the phenomenon has spiralled out of control, I have proposed that the government repeal this arrangement via emergency decree," she added.
Romania's anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating whether prisoners had ghost writers, the AP news agency reports.
A statement cited the case of a 212-page book written by an unidentified prisoner in under seven hours.
Prisoners have no access to the internet or books.
The law was originally passed in 2006.