An inmate at Avenal State Prison packages glasses for distribution.

An inmate at Avenal State Prison packages glasses for distribution.

By Benigno Cruz, Associate Governmental Program Analyst
Avenal State Prison

Inmates at Avenal State Prison (ASP) are helping people around the world through a rehabilitative program and partnership with a charitable organization.

Lions in Sight started in 2006 as a project of the local district for the Lions Club.

Lions Club members collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to the prison where inmates sort and wash the glasses, as well as choose which glasses do not meet the criteria for distribution and refurbishing.

Inmates verify the prescription of glasses and sort them for distribution.

Inmates verify the prescription of glasses and sort them for distribution.

ASP has become very productive in the program, averaging 20,000 pairs of eyeglasses every two or three months.

“The work done at Avenal State Prison has made possible for over 73,000 people per year internationally to have a better life because they can now see and be productive in their communities,” said Walter Griffin, first vice president of the Lions In-Sight of California and Nevada. “This work program allows the Lions In-Sight Program … to make our missions to serve the low income people of India, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Columbia, Panama, Mexico and many more countries a better experience.”

Griffin expressed gratitude for ASP’s assistance.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated that single pair of glasses or thousands of glasses. You do make a difference one pair of glasses at a time. And thank you to Avenal State Prison for making our clinic missions a success,” he said.