Correctional Industries Partners With Salus University to Provide Eyeglasses to Underserved Youth

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) today announced a new initiative to provide low-cost eye glasses for children in southeastern Pennsylvania. Through a partnership with Salus University, the DOC's Pennsylvania Correctional Industries Optical Lab at State Correctional Institute (SCI) Cambridge Springs will custom make eyeglasses for children served by the university's Looking Out for Kids School Vision Program.

Located in Crawford County, SCI Cambridge Springs is a minimum security facility that houses approximately 800 women. The Correctional Industries Optical Lab, established in June 1999, employs 30 incarcerated women and manufactures eyeglasses for residents of DOC facilities, state nursing homes, and other nonprofit and government entities. The partnership with Salus University will allow for expansion of the optical program and the hiring of 10-15 additional inmate workers.

"Vocational training and work experience offered by Correctional Industries helps prepare incarcerated individuals for successful reentry upon their release," said Correctional Industries Director Khelleh Konteh. "Our employees take a great deal of pride in their work and are honored to know that the glasses they make will benefit young people in need."

In addition to schools, Salus also provides eyeglasses to area shelters. The Optical Lab at SCI Cambridge Springs expects to fill approximately 400 orders each month to support the university's outreach efforts, including an event today at Marshall Street Elementary School in Norristown, Montgomery County. Comprehensive eye exams are being provided and glasses will be delivered via the Mobile Vision Care Unit, also known as the "Big Red Bus," that travels to schools throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding school districts. The Optical Lab at SCI Cambridge Springs will fulfill 200 orders through the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to provide high-quality, cost-effective glasses to our Looking Out For Kids and other vision outreach programs," said Salus University President, Dr. Michael H. Mittelman. "This relationship provides a wonderful opportunity for those learning how to become an optician to gain valuable experiences in making glasses for a wide range of age groups while at the same time serving to help build a bridge for these individuals to a viable profession that provides a sustainable income for them.  Salus and our patients also gain a great source of quality optical devices that are made with care and commitment."

Pennsylvania Correctional Industries employs approximately 1,500 inmate workers in a variety of vocational programs including warehouse logistics, vehicle restoration, masonry trades, and commissary operations. Correctional Industries is self-sustaining through the sale of products and services and receives no taxpayer funding.

For more information on the DOC and Correctional Industries, visit

For more information on Salus University, visit

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Corrections Media Contact Details

Ryan Tarkowski

Communications Director
Department of Corrections Media

Maria Bivens

Press Secretary
Department of Corrections Media