Program allows inmates to give back from inside

Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 23:31:19-04

A new partnership between the Boise Bicycle Project and the Idaho Department of Correction is allowing female inmates to give back to the community from the inside.

The program called "Shifting Gears" teaches women at the South Boise Women's Correctional Center how to maintain and repair bicycles.

The volunteer inmates will repair dozens of bikes which BBP will then return to children in the community. 

"I'm really excited about it to know that I'm giving something to a little kid that they need," IDOC inmate Summer Deppel said. "Knowing that I put together a bike that a little kid is going to be riding, it's fulfilling."

 6 On Your Side joined BBP when they toured the Women's Correctional Center in Boise in December beginning the planning process for the project.

Friday, instructors and inmates took tools to tires, learning valuable lessons about bike maintenance and repair.

"You know theres a big difference when people are really really excited about what they're doing  and if you look around you can tell that there's excitement, you can tell people are excited to be working hands on," BBP executive director Jimmy Hallyburton said. "They're excited to be building bikes, learning new skills, giving back to kids in the community."

As part of the program, after an inmates repairs 15 children's bikes, they'll receive a voucher from BBP to get a bike of their own once they're released.

"When they are released they'll be able to show up at the Boise Bicycle Project  and we'll have a bicycle waiting for them at the door," Hallyburton said. "You know, really remove some of those barriers that they face when they're released and trying to find a job, trying to get to work, making your parole meetings and all these different things."