UPDATE: Gov. Charlie Baker has rescinded this program because it "is not consistent with the administration’s policies regarding reduced prison terms," according to Executive Office of Public Safety and Security spokesperson Jake Wark.

Hoping to increase the number of incarcerated people vaccinated against COVID-19, the state Department of Corrections is offering a deal: One week’s reduced sentence in exchange for getting vaccinated.

The offer was outlined in a Jan. 28 letter from Commissioner Carol Mici to all DOC prisoners, a copy of which was obtained by GBH News.

A Department of Corrections spokesperson confirmed the letter's authenticity.

“While we are working together to stifle this virus through “herd immunity,” we are not there yet,” Mici wrote.

Massachusetts is one of eight states that offered the vaccine early in its process to incarnated people. The roll-out began in the prison system mid-January. So far about 3,500 of 6,800 incarcerated people have received their first dose of the vaccine, according to Mici.

Known as “Earned Good Time,” state law allows prisoners to get sentences deductions by completing a range of tasks, including work and education.

And they now can earn 7.5 days by completing what is referred to in the letter as the “Vaccine Rehabilitation Program.”

“I have determined that receiving the vaccine is significantly valuable to rehabilitation and will therefore be offering Earned Good Time," Mici wrote.

Inmates must receive two doses of the vaccine and attest, in writing, that they have read and watched educational information about the vaccine to qualify for the program.

A DOC spokesperson said education materials were created with cultural competency in mind and included a recorded video conference with Rev. Liz Walker, of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, Harvard Divinity Schools’ Rev. Gloria White Hammond, and infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The video conference “specifically addresses potential sources of skepticism that people may have about the vaccine and the medical industry,” the spokesperson said.

The DOC also partnered with Commonwealth Medicine, and colloborated with formerly incarcerated persons, advocates, and health care providers on a series of videos about the vaccine, the spokesperson added. The series is available in English, with open captioned versions in Spanish and Portuguese, according to the spokesperson.

Jessie Rossman, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts, said they are cautiously optimistic about the program.

“To the extent that the Department of Correction wants to encourage individuals who are incarcerated in their facilities to get the vaccine, positive reinforcement and positive incentivization is the way to do it,” she said.

Elizabeth Matos, executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services, said taking the vaccine is a personal medical decision and raised concerns the policy could be “more coercive than necessary.”

“Of course we want conditions to improve and want people to be safe, but we don't think that incarcerated people should be stripped of their agency to choose, which other people are able to do who are not incarcerated,” Matos said.

Additionally, she said the program penalizes those who have a "contraindications,” such as an allergic reaction, and need to decline the vaccine.

The CDC warns against receiving a second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines if a patient had a severe reaction to their first dose.

Matos suggested the state should consider awarding the 7.5 day credit to any incarcerated individuals who complete the education requirement.