Ariz. Sheriff Makes Inmates Pedal to Watch TV

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The man known as the toughest sheriff in America has come up with novel idea for his television-watching inmates he calls "Pedal Vision."

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Phoenix says he allows his inmates to watch TV only if they power the tube by riding a stationary bicycle. The bike is able to generate 12 volts of electricity.

If the inmate slows down while pedaling, a noise warns the exerciser that the TV is shutting down.

According to Arpaio, the program allows inmates to get in some much-needed exercise while engaging in their favorite pastime.

"I started with the females because they seemed more receptive to the idea," Arpaio said. "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. They won't be charged a monthly gym fee but they will have to sign a contract."

"We usually show The Weather Channel and The Food Channel and C-SPAN, that's the political channel. Now because of the great work you are doing, you can watch any local channel," the Maricopa County sheriff told his prisoners.

Arpaio originally raised eyebrows when he tackled jail overcrowding by putting inmates in tents rather than releasing them early.

He also has some prisoners working on chain gangs.

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