By Landon Bravo, Community Resources Manager (A) | CMF

Volunteers of Vacaville (VOV) recently celebrated the 52nd anniversary of the Blind Project at the California Medical Facility (CMF).

The VOV project began in 1960 as a cooperative effort of CMF, inmate workers and the community. Over the years the project has provided services — including Braille machine repair, Braille transcription, and an extensive audio book lending library — to customers around the world.

The afternoon luncheon on March 21 allowed VOV to recognize and reward CMF administration, donors, inmate workers and project supporters for all their efforts. Inmate workers received awards for worker of the year, reader of the year, Braille transcriber of the year and even Braille technician of the year.

“The CMF Blind Project, with the sponsorship of the Volunteers of Vacaville, has continued to provide excellent services for the visually and physically impaired locally, nationwide and overseas,” said Acting Warden Vimal Singh.  “The Blind Project provides a positive work environment for inmates to give back to the community.  This award banquet recognizes the sponsors, the inmates, Project Director Correctional Officer Patrick Sahota and our Community Resources Manager Landon Bravo, who have excelled in their dedication and service.  As a warden, I am honored to host this program inside the prison walls.”

The VOV project is a nonprofit organization that has partnered with many Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, private organizations, and individuals that lend tremendous financial and personal support to the project.  Their contributions allow the project to provide customers with high-quality services free of charge or at a significantly reduced rate.

The CMF Blind Project has 20 inmate positions, with 17 currently filed. The inmates learn valuable job skills and receive the opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause while serving their time of incarceration. Since the start of the year, the Blind Project has repaired 64 Braille writers.  CMF has started to work with agencies from Oregon, Nevada, New York and even the United Kingdom.