Inmates Learn Job Skills Recycling Eyeglasses

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Inmates learn to repair broken or otherwise unusable eyewear using a lensometer and other specialized equipment.

They might be in prison, but that doesn’t mean inmates are incapable of working and learning. Lions Club is offering Nevada inmates an opportunity to learn skills and do some good while keeping useful eyewear out of landfills.

Prisoners in Las Vegas’ Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility are learning skills in how to recycle and refurbish spent eyeglasses, including how to use a lensometer and techniques on how to classify and package eyewear for distribution, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Nevada is the second state to jump on board with the program, right behind six facilities in California.

In exchange for their labor, inmates learn marketable skills that can be valuable once they’re released, potentially ending the cycle of crime and putting a dent in the high unemployment rate of ex-cons, which can range anywhere between 35 and 60 percent depending on the state.

Green jobs may be the opportunity of the future for former felons that are able to seek job training while doing time. Prisons in Virginia train inmates in green heating and ventilation through an in-house vocational program, while the Washington State Department of Corrections collaborates with Evergreen State College to allow inmates to do anything from help breed endangered species to assisting with various research.