The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Partners with Lion’s Club International on the Folsom Project for Special Needs Inmates 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department partnered with Lion’s Club International in 2011 on an innovative program that allows county jail inmates to participate in a worthwhile community project. Known as the Folsom Project, donated prescription eyeglasses are refurbished and calibrated, then distributed to the homeless and underprivileged throughout the world through the Lion’s Club International Organization. 

The Sheriff’s Department learned of the program, which originated in California’s Folsom State Prison, and contacted the Lion’s Club with a proposal to expand the program in the county jail system. In just two years, inmates at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, who are hearing and visually impaired, have cleaned, calibrated, sorted, and tagged more than two thousand eyeglasses. 

An LA County Jail Inmate repairing reading glasses with his handsTrained staff members from the Sheriff’s Department’s Education Based Incarceration Bureau teach the inmates how to operate the machines used to calibrate the eyeglass prescriptions and supervise the entire refurbishment process. After the process is completed, the packaged eyeglasses are returned to Lion’s Club volunteers who then distribute them to the impoverished throughout Los Angeles County. Some of the glasses are distributed by the Lion’s Club both nationally and internationally through medical missions to third world countries. 

The program has been such a success that in February 2013 the Education Based Incarceration Bureau expanded the program to include mobility impaired inmates in the Men’s Central Jail. Additional calibration machines were purchased and now dozens of jail inmates with a variety of special needs have the opportunity to learn new skills while performing this valuable community service. 

For more information please contact Sergeant Ray Harley at (213) 473-2999. 

Education Based Incarceration Bureau 
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 
450 Bauchet Street, Room E888, Los Angeles, CA 90012 
(213) 473-2999