Prisoners take to exercise bikes to get out of jail faster

Pedalling for 16 hours equals a day cut from sentence

by Sarah Barth   July 4, 2012  

Exercise bike - pic credit Michael B Flickr Creative Commons

Prisoners in a jail in Brazil will have a day shaved from their sentence for every 16 hours they spend pedalling on a stationary bike rigged up to a generator.

The generators power lightbulbs in Santa Rita do Sapucai prison.

According to a report in the Jornal Nacional, the city's judge instated the policy, but prison only has two bikes so far. The paper says that at the moment, a full day can power six lightbulbs,  but doesn't say how long for.

Prisoners are so keen to sign up though, that the prison will install another eight bikes.

Judge Jose Henrique Mallmann told the paper that he got the idea from reading about a similar programme in Arizona on the Internet.

At Tent City Jail in Phoenix, female inmates could watch an hour of television from pedalling for an hour, under a system dubbed 'Pedal Vision'.

There are fringe benefits too; one prisoner in Santa Rita do Sapucai prison has reported losing 'about four pounds'.

5 user comments

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Just what you need, fitter criminals back on the streets sooner Confused

I love the smell of cleats (mexican accent, you do the jokes)

posted by paulfrank [95 posts]
4th July 2012 - 18:51

1 Like

Probably energy saving bulbs.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1103 posts]
4th July 2012 - 19:22

1 Like

This is Charlie Brooker's '15 Million Merits' come to life!

posted by iamelectron [151 posts]
4th July 2012 - 22:00


16hours on a turbo? Should get out a week early for that kind of dedication

Trev Allen's picture

posted by Trev Allen [169 posts]
4th July 2012 - 22:41

1 Like

What a great story - Jailbreak by bicycle..

Anyway it got me thinking, you wouldn't be too keen going to any spin classes in any gyms in Brazil - imagine the shame of being shown up by some ex-con covered in tattoos.
Also, have Specialized not considered sponsoring a knife amnesty in prisons - hand in a Shiv for a time trial bike.
Then, if a certain Texan multi Tour de France winner were to be sent down by USADA, he'd be back out in no time - his sentence would be as short as the Spanish team mate that he got on so well with a couple of years ago.
The best idea though came from a colleague of mine who said, maybe unbeknownst to them they're powering the generator for the electric chair!

posted by PRINCIPIA PHIL [59 posts]
5th July 2012 - 22:33

1 Like