Juvenile Offenders Charged as Adults + Committed Volunteers = "Ride Out" Bike Assembly Program

On the last Friday of each month, you will normally find Team Bike Lady volunteers at the Correctional Reception Center (CRC) in Orient, Ohio. 

On the CRC's Ward D, we work with juvenile offenders who were convicted as adults. Yes, we build bikes, but we also mentor, talk, help, and care. We bring a feast of homemade comfort food. We talk personal responsibility, and we strive to create positive neuroplasticity. From a municipal court judge to a PhD psychologist to a Southwest airlines pilot to a foster/ adoptive mom (and numerous others), our volunteers care about these youth, and we do everything possible to help them see that what they did does not define who they are; that who they were when they walked behind the wire does not determine who they are becoming; that good things can happen in prison.

Our program involves these youth building bikes, but they also build bridges – with each other, with corrections officers, and even the warden jumps in on a build often enough. The teens are working side by side with the types people they possibly used to hate or otherwise victimize. Through these experiences, we are all learning about compassion and empathy.

Bike Lady maintains requirements for inmates to participate each month – requirements that lead to good behavior, improved academics while in prison (they attend school each day on their ward), and leadership development. One other requirement is a letter. Each teen must write a personal letter to go with the bike(s) he assembles for a kid in foster care. The letters generally contain a message that while foster care is difficult, prison is worse. The letters discourage negative influences like gangs, alcohol, drugs, and the streets. Instead, they promote maximum effort in school, listening to care givers, and following rules. 

With a high percentage of youth who age out of foster care becoming incarcerated before their 21st birthday, this prison teen to foster teen communication is paramount.

While Bike Lady is with the boys of Ward D at CRC, we show them humanity and compassion. Teens are given an opportunity to be themselves, use their first names, smile, laugh, eat, give something back to the community, and experience HOPE. In the words of the unit manager, “In my 30 years at this institution, this is the best thing that has ever happened on this ward. It’s making a real difference in the day to day behavior, and in the overall outcomes for these boys.”

Send Cards & Letters

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, community volunteers are unable to enter Ohio prisons. 

Bike Lady has a standing commitment to the teens of Ward D at the CRC that we will be with them on the last Friday of each month. In that spirit, we invite all Team Bike Lady friends and supporters to write a friendly note of encouragement to an incarcerated teen.

You can send cards and letters via snail mail OR you can send a note via email:

RIDE OUT assembly crew

c/o Bike Lady, Inc.

PO Box 311

Blacklick, OH 43004

RIDE OUT assembly crew

c/o Bike Lady, Inc.

(Any identifying information within your email, including your email address, will not be shared.) 


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