Now Reading
Maricopa inmates pedal to power TVs

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Maricopa inmates pedal to power TVs

Arpaio says half those incarcarated are overweight

  • Courtesy

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a plan to save electricity and get inmates in shape - "pedal vision."

Under a new plan, inmates at Tent City Jail must pedal stationary bicycles in order to keep TVs powered. If they stop pedaling, the TVs will shut down.

"If an inmate slows down and fails to pedal fast enough, an audible noise sounds off to warn inmates that the TV is shutting down," the sheriff explained in the Phoenix New Times. "Peer pressure will have them pedaling, at least right up to the commercial breaks."

Arpaio said he noticed during a recent visit that half the inmates are overweight.

"We're going to do the best we can in our jail system to help the inmates lose weight, and at the same time, give them the luxury of watching whatever they want to watch on television,"Arpaio said, according to

The program only enlists female inmates to start, but if it succeeds it will expand to the male population.

"I started with the females because they seemed more receptive to the idea," Arpaio told ABC15. "The only exercise the females get right now is speed-walking around the tents yard and few are doing that. This gives them a reason to get moving and a way to burn up to 500 calories an hour."

— 30 —

Top headlines

Best in Internet Exploder