DALLAS - Some inmates at the Dallas County Jail are improving their own lives and the lives of children.
In the program, inmates learn how to repair bikes and feel the impact immediately when the new ride goes to a child in need.
The program has been described as a win especially for the children at Jonathan's Place. The faces of the children when they receive bikes are blurred because they are in protective custody. The unexpected gift of a bike means the world to the children who are separated from their families.
“These children are taken out of their homes by CPS with nothing,” said Tai Green with the organization. “Many of them have never had the opportunity to ride a bike, receive a bike for Christmas or ride around the block with friends.”
Officer Roy Love collects the donated bikes that are used or broken and takes them to the Dallas County Jail. They’re not for lock up but rather fix up, which is done by inmates like Hector Garcia and Rudy Edmonds.
"It's another trade that I'm picking up,” Garcia said. “That way, I can do something when I get out of here, you know, and also help out my kids and my grandkids."
“It's good that we're out here working and getting out of the cell, doing something that's going to help somebody,” Edmonds explained.
The program is a strict four-week curriculum. Inmates work on bikes two hours a day three days a week. And upon completion, certification is not guaranteed. They have to strip down the bike and put it all back together by themselves to graduate.
Bikes that are beyond repair are recycled for parts.
“Therefore, we're not spending any money on the bikes to repair them,” Officer Love explained.
"To give back to the community is what's also the awesome part about it,” Garcia said. “Everybody wins when you're productive and try and do something right."
Richardson Bike Mart gives its used and traded-in bikes to the program, but organizers at the Dallas County Jail say all donated bikes are welcome.