derekmead writes "Since the oil shocks of the ‘70s, Brazil has been home to a carnival of renewable energy initiatives that now generate a whopping 85 percent of the country’s power. At Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison, inmates are contributing to the effort by riding stationary bikes which charge batteries that fuel lights at a nearby park that previously didn’t have electricity. That makes the park safer and shaves a little off the city’s carbon footprint, while giving the inmates a chance to get buff – and reduce their sentences.
City judge José Henrique Mallmann was apparently inspired by other prisons that offer prisoners incentives for riding bikes. At Phoenix, Ariz.’s Tent City Jail, female prisoners who want to watch television are required to pedal stationary bikes that power TVs. The technology has been in use at some fitness clubs for years, and is gaining traction for use in everyday life by cycling enthusiasts."