Brazil is a beautiful country. The people in Brazil are some of the kindest people you will ever meet and the diversity there is unlike most in the world. The Brazilian prison system is well known for being one of the toughest prison systems in the world.
Inmates in a Brazilian prison can shave time off their sentences by becoming living sources of green energy. All they need to do is turn the wheel of a bike connected to a power generator. For every 16 hours of pedaling the inmates of the Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison have their sentences reduced by one day, according to a Jornal Nacional report.
The generators the prisoners put in motion charge batteries, which are taken to the city center to power some of the street lights.
The reason behind the offer is not to profit from free labor or slavery. The inmates are not forced to ride the bikes. Rather it is meant to give inmates an incentive to keep themselves in good shape, says city judge José Henrique Mallmann, who introduced the idea.
At first the inmates were rather skeptical about the prospect of pedaling for freedom, but later it won their enthusiasm. The prison plans to install more bikes to meet the demand for their use.
Legwork is not the only way Brazilian inmates can get off jail a little bit earlier. In a separate program, inmates in four prisons are offered the chance to shave time from their sentences by reading books and penning essays on them.
To learn about how to make a bicycle electric generator follow these links:
At full pedal you can produce 200 watts and trim some fat. Not bad for a $100 system.
A bicycle powered generator built at Cabrillo College with help from a National Science Foundation grant