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5 Offenders Receive Optics Certification

Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Jeal Salter
Contact Email:
March 2, 2017

5 Offenders Receive Optics Certification

Hays State Prison partners with Piedmont Technical College

FORSYTH, Ga. – Since January 1, 2017, five offenders have completed the Optics program at Hays State Prison (SP) and received both a Precision Lens Generator certificate and a Lens Mounter certificate.

“The optics program at Hays State Prison does not only provide certification and hands-on experience in a high-demand trade, but it also allows the offenders to give back, by providing glasses to Georgia Medicaid recipients and partner Corrections agencies,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier, “We are proud of these men who worked hard to become certified in this field.”

The Hays SP Optical Plant averages 42 offenders working daily to meet the needs of eyeglasses requests for Georgia Medicaid recipients and Correctional Facilities throughout the United States. The Optical Plant’s On-the-Job training (OJT) program partnered with Piedmont Technical College to provide Optics certification for the offenders.

The Precision Lens Generator certificate requires 1,200 instructional hours. To obtain this certification, offenders learn the process of grinding (or surfacing) the prescription in the ophthalmic lens. The offenders receive hands-on training in the generation of a work ticket, preparation for additional lens processing, and operation of the lens generator. They also learn the proper procedure for selecting the correct lap tool for fining and polishing the lenses, as well as the surfacing procedure, cleaning and coating the lenses. 

The Lens Mounter certificate requires 1,200 instructional hours. To obtain this certification, offenders learn to finish the eyeglasses. After the lens is checked for accuracy, the lens is marked with the correct astigmatism orientation and a finishing block is applied for the edging process. The offender is given the opportunity to learn to operate the lens edger in the lab. The lens edger cuts the lens down to fit the chosen frame. Lens tinting is added, if requested. The finished eyewear will go through quality control checking for accuracy.   

During the month of January 2017, the plant provided glasses to 8,800 Georgia Medicaid members to include underprivileged children. During this same month, 740 pairs of eyeglasses were provided to offenders at the Georgia Department of Corrections, 423 pairs to offenders at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and 110 pairs to offenders at the Louisiana Department of Corrections. The facility produces over 600 pairs of glasses daily.

In 2016, 11 offenders completed the optics program and received their duel certifications.

To learn more about this program, visit, to view the Department’s Real Time, Reel Life video on the Optics program.

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit


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