A judge who sentenced a group of teenage vandals to read books seems to have discovered an effective new form of juvenile punishment.
In 2017, Virginia judge Avelina Jaco, accepted a plan by prosecutor Alejandra Rueda to order five boys, aged 16 and 17, who admitted spraying racist graffiti on an historic building to an unusual punishment.
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Prosecutor Rueda was convinced the boys did not fully appreciate the significance of the symbols including swastikas - and language they had used.
Thirty-five book titles were then compiled from which the boys chose 12 to read and write monthly essays about the content. They were also required to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of American History.
Since undergoing the sentence, none of the boys have re-offended and other offenders have been sentenced to similar terms in the state.
One of the boys in question agreed to let the World Economic Forum (WEF) publish part of his final essay, written after a full year of reading.
"I feel especially awful after writing this paper about how I made anybody feel bad. Everybody should be treated with equality, no matter their race or religion or sexual orientation. I will do my best to see to it that I am never this ignorant again."
Rueda told WEF the teenagers' essays proved how little they had understood the significance of what they had done.
The recommended reading list in full:
1. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
2. Native Son - Richard Wright
3. Exodus - Leon Uris
4. Mila 18 - Leon Uris
5. Trinity - Leon Uris
6. My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok
7. The Chosen - Chaim Potok
8. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
9. Night - Elie Wiesel
10. The Crucible - Arthur Miller
11. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
12. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
13. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
14. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
15. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
16. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
17. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
18. Caleb's Crossing - Geraldine Brooks
19. Tortilla Curtain - TC Boyle
20. The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison
21. A Hope in the Unseen - Ron Suskind
22. Down These Mean Streets - Piri Thomas
23. Black Boy - Richard Wright
24. The Beautiful Struggle - Ta-Nehisi Coates
25. The Banality of Evil - Hannah Arendt
26. The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead
27. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
28. The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang
29. Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
30. The Orphan Master's Son - Adam Johnson
31. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
32. Cry the Beloved Country - Alan Paton
33. Too Late the Phalarope - Alan Paton
34. A Dry White Season - Andre Brink
35. Ghost Soldiers - Hampton Sides