Mac & Mac's Pick: Inmate Powered Streetlamps

By WEEK Producer

July 10, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 2:29 AM CDT

The streets of a city in Brazil are lit at night by streetlamps...so the residents can walk safely at night. Which is a fine thing..and not unusual

What is unusual is that the streetlamps are battery-powered. And what is also unusual is how the batteries get charged.

Inmates at a local prison pedal bicycles attached to generators.

The prison has offered to shave time off of prisoners' sentences if they'll charge the batteries.

For every 16 hours a Brazilian prisoner pedals, he can reduce his sentence by one day.

The program has become popular among inmates as it alleviates boredom and keeps them in shape.

One inmate even said he has so far lost "about four pounds."

The prison plans to add eight more bikes to the original two due to the program's popularity.