Romania gets tough with reported abuse of prison book policy

AP News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2016 8:40 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's government is getting tougher with prisoners who publish books in jail to reduce their sentences, limiting the maximum reduction to 20 days.

Previous rules allowed prisoners to have their sentences reduced by 30 days for every "scientific work" they published, subject to a judge's decision on whether the book merits it.

The justice ministry says 340 books were published by prisoners in 2015, up from 90 the previous year.

The government signed off on the new rule, effective on Aug. 31, on Wednesday following a public outcry over prisoners publishing profusely while in jail.

Prosecutors said one 212-page book was apparently written in seven hours, and others wrote several books simultaneously, leading to suspicions that works were plagiarized or ghostwritten.