Justice and Public Safety
June 17, 2019

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety:

Inmate Program Sees Eyeglasses Delivered to Haiti

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand here today to recognize a project at the Bishop's Falls Correctional Centre that is changing lives here at home and abroad.

In 2015, with the support of the Lions Club, RCMP and Armour Transportation, the Bishop's Falls Correctional Centre Eye Glass Program began. The program consists of inmates sorting and processing donated eyeglasses. Over the last three years, inmates of the Bishop's Falls Correctional Centre have processed almost 250,000 pairs of donated glasses.

Having visited the Bishop's Falls Correctional Centre, Mr. Speaker, I have had a first-hand look at the project in action and witnessed the pride the inmates and staff take in their work, knowing the refurbished glasses will help someone in need. The program really has been life changing for all those involved.

In addition to providing eyeglasses free of charge to inmates at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, the West Coast Correctional Centre and the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women, a 2016 project with the Lions Club saw glasses delivered to Nicaragua. More recently, the program partnered with Team Broken Earth to send glasses to Haiti, an area in desperate need of eye care. Locally, free clinics have been offered through Choices for Youth, The Gathering Place and Association for New Canadians.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the work of one individual in particular. Jackie Warford, a Classification Officer at the Bishop's Falls Correctional Centre, has been working tirelessly on this project and even joined Team Broken Earth to help distribute the glasses to those in need. I want to thank Ms. Warford, and Assistant Superintendent Kelly Rowsell, for their dedication to this project that gives people the ability to see.

Thank you.

2019 06 17                              1:50 p.m.