Prisoners wanting reduced sentences are pedaling their way towards freedom by generating electricity via stationary bikes.

At a high-security jail facility just outside of São Paolo, Brazil, prisoners dressed in red uniforms pedal a series of stationary bikes that provide electricity at night for the local community. In exchange, they earn credit towards time served, thus reducing their sentences. The bright idea of a local judge, Prison Director Gilson Rafael Silva believes it’s great for several reasons. “With our project, the idea is that they can now exercise, lose weight and at the same time it also benefits them because after every three days of work, their sentence shortens by one day,” he said.

In addition to the much-desired reduced sentences, some prisoners like the work because it boosts moral. “Here, by cycling, we feel more important and more useful,” said Ronaldo da Silva, who is serving five-and-a-half years for robbery. “You feel better day-to-day.”

Many folks say that prisoners should be put to work during their time inside and while I don’t believe this is what they had in mind, I think it’s fantastic. The prisoners get lots of exercise while the community benefits from the clean, renewable energy generation. It’s a win-win for everyone. Of course, it would take millions of stationary bikes to provide any meaningful amount of electricity, but there’s no time like the present to get started.

Check out a video of the prisoners riding their stationary bikes:

Brazil inmates cycle to freedom by generating… by euronews-en

Source: EuroNews via Autoblog Green

Image Credit: Ron Kloberdanz /