A medium-security penitentiary in Santa Rita do Sapucai has come up with a unique proposal for the inmates to reduce their sentences simply by pedaling a stationary bike. Apart from getting into shape, the inmates pedal the stationary bike to generate renewable energy that is used to power ten street lights along the riverside promenade.
The two-month old program has been started to help inmates do something conservative for the society while also getting a chance to reduce their sentences. Though the project has got its share of criticism, the inmates have got a chance to improve themselves and the condition of the environment too. Thought up by the local judge, the program allows inmates to pedal eight-hours each day and after three days of pedaling hard, their sentences are shaved off by a day.
The inmates seem to be taking up the challenge, with Ronaldo da Silva, an inmate at the jail, stating that initially they were never out in the fresh air and got to see the sun only two hours each day. With this initiative Silva is able to remain out of his cell for the entire day. He has already managed to shave four kilos from his weight and 20 days from his sentence.
The program currently has eight participants who work on four stationary bikes to produce electricity which is stored in a battery. After dark, the generated electricity is used to light up the nearby streets. The local municipal police have contributed the bicycles from the lost and found department, after which engineers turned them into stationary bikes attached to batteries donated by local businesses. Each evening a guard from the jail carries the batteries to the promenade and hooks it to a converter used to power the streetlamps. In the mornings the batteries are taken back to the jail to be recharged.
Via: Oddity Central