Criminals can pedal their way to freedom

A solitary prison near Sao Paulo, Brazil has instituted a pedal-power initiative in exchange for reduced inmate sentences. Prisoners are given the opportunity to participate in a program where for every 16 hours they pedal on a stationary bike their sentence is reduced by one full day, with no maximum on how many hours they can pedal. The stationary bikes are hooked up to batteries which store the energy and later used to power street lights in a local plaza.

Part of me cringes at the hints of exploitation linked to prison labor, but more so I’m excited at the possibilities of prisoners contributing to the greater good while also reaping all the benefits most of us gain from riding, whether that be physical or mental.  Maybe the prison will turn out more professional cyclists than even more devious criminals, or at least the prisoners will come out healthier than when they went in if they’re cycling 16 hours in exchange for one day.  That would be change.  As one program rider put it,

While he’s pedaling, “I think about my imprisonment, about my freedom, my wife, my kids,” he said.

Via CNN

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s