Brazil gives prisoners shorter sentences for riding exercise bikes tied to generators
PUBLISHED: MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012, 12:16 PM
UPDATED: MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012, 12:16 PM
JORNAL NACIONAL VIA TREEHUGGER
Prisoners ride bikes to generate electricity in Brazilian prison.
Inmates in Brazil's Santa Rita do Sapucai prison can now put the pedal to the metal to shorten their time behind bars.
The city’s judge has instated a policy that rewards prisoners for generating energy by riding stationery bikes, according to a report in the Jornal Nacional.
Prisoners can knock a day off their sentences for every 16 hours they pedal.
The energy they produce by riding the bikes charges batteries that are later taken to the city center in southern Minas, where they are used to power lightbulbs.
The prison currently has only two bikes, which are located in the courtyard, the Jornal noted. At the current rate of pedaling, one full day produces enough energy to power six light bulbs, though it’s not clear for exactly how long.
But the voluntary program has been so successful, the prison is adding eight bikes, bringing the total to 10, which will power enough lightbulbs to "illuminate the entire avenue" in the city center, according to the report.
Judge Jose Henrique Mallmann said he got the idea from reading on the Internet about similar programs in America, such as one in Arizona.
There, Sheriff Joe Arpaio instituted a program in 2010 called "Pedal Vision," in which female inmates at the Tent City Jail in Phoenix generated power to watch television by riding stationary bikes. One hour of pedaling equaled one hour of television.
Prisoners at the Santa Rita do Spucai prison seem to like the opportunity to get some exercise and break up the monotony of their routine, io9 reported.
One inmate even said he has so far lost "about four pounds."
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/brazil-prisoners-shorter-sentences-riding-exercise-bikes-tied-generators-article-1.1106336#ixzz2dATv0Iu9