Italy instituted a series of sweeping reforms of the country's prisons, including rights to "vacations" for model inmates and sentence reductions for many prisoners. Parliament last month approved the penal reforms. About 250 inmates reportedly were released immediately, and as many as 5,000 others could follow as part of the reforms. Under the new legislation, inmates serving life terms who meet certain requirements will be eligible for 45 days' annual leave after 10 years, to be taken in two-week "vacations." After serving another 10 years, prisoners become eligible for a program that frees them during the day but requires them to return at night.