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Reading Glasses to Jail Inmates in King County

To inmates who may be preparing legal documents, deciphering medical information, or enjoying a novel, reading glasses are much more than a luxury. Unfortunately, the King County Correctional Facility (Seattle) and the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center (Kent)—like many jails around the country—are under-equipped to provide sufficient eye care to inmates. Even when reading glasses are made available in the commissary, many inmates are indigent and unable to purchase these instruments.

Books to Prisoners supports reading enhancement for inmates in King County through donations of reading glasses. Glasses are donated to Release Planning Social Work services for inmates with vision issues on a limited basis. The Release Planning team says these donations are making a big difference in promoting reading in King County jails. Said one employee, “[These glasses] have been an invaluable resource for those who can’t read without them. Without their donations there would be no other alternative.”

From 2013 through 2016, 437 pairs of reading glasses have been donated to the King County Correctional Facility, along with cleaning cloths and glasses repair kits.

These inexpensive but vital donations make a real difference. Books to Prisoners is proud to support this initiative as an extension of our mission to provide tools for literacy and self-empowerment to incarcerated individuals.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 4/2017: King County Jail Services is no longer accepting reading glasses. While this program is currently suspended, more than 500 inmates were assisted between 2011 and 2017. Thank you to everyone who made this possible and made a difference to so many people!

The guidelines for donations are as follows:

  1. Donated glasses must be all plastic; metal frames and glass lenses are restricted in jails

  2. The most often requested magnifications are 1.25-2

Please contact us to learn more!


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