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Tue Feb 12, 2019, 09:04 PM

Stationary Bikes Get Brazilian Prisoners Closer to Freedom

Inmates pedal stationary bicycles to power lights in a nearby town in exchange for reduced sentences.
By Meg Handley, Staff Writer July 12, 2012, at 5:45 p.m.


FOR PRISON INMATES IN Brazil, good behavior isn't the only thing that gets them closer to freedom—pedaling a bike to help power a nearby town can, too.

Through an innovative—and eco-friendly—program, prisoners can cut down their sentences by putting in some time on stationary bikes hooked up to car batteries, according to the Associated Press. As the inmates pedal, the car batteries are charged.

The charged-up batteries are then used to illuminate 10 street lamps in the nearby town of Santa Rita do Sapucai. The town's mayor told the AP he came up with the idea after learning about gyms in the United States that use electricity generated by exercise bikes.

Volunteers in the medium-security prison earn one day off their sentence for every three eight-hour shifts they spend on the bikes, which were salvaged from the local police department's lost and found. One inmate has already reduced his sentence by 20 days, and his weight by about 9 pounds, thanks to the two-month-old program.


Environment and energy:

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