Welcome to the first blog post here at JustSpecs, your one-stop-shop for all things optics related! JustSpecs is dedicated to providing fashion-forward glasses that reek of chic - check out our ranges of designer and affordable glasses. We cater to any accessory need you may have and we have specs to match any look.
Alongside this passion for fashion, we do our bit to give back. Reducing recidivism is a crucial aspect of the improvement of both the criminal justice system and societal attitudes towards crime. Our sister charity, The Prison Opticians Trust, is forging a path in this field. In this blog post we will give you all the details on how the POT came about and the fantastic work it is doing in reducing recidivism. Running a business can benefit people in so many ways, and we are proud of how JustSpecs has philanthropy at the heart of its ethos.
1. The inception
Our story begins in 2003, a time when David and Victoria Beckham were the couple of the hour and R. Kelly’s ignition was blaring from every radio. JustSpecs founder, Tanjit Dosanjh, was at the beginning of his career as an optometrist. His father began a long prison sentence and upon beginning his visits he realised that there was a lack of vocational training for offenders. Encouraged by an optical programme that ran in 1989, Tanjit took matters into his own hands. He self-funded an optical lab in Standford Hill prison and gave up two days a week of his time to train a group of prisoners in optical skills.
Fast forward to 2015, having secured funding, Tanjit then opened an optical training lab in Maidstone. Simultaneously, he obtained charity commission approval to set up the Trust, formerly known as Pen Optical. This is now The Prison Opticians Trust, working hard at reducing recidivism by providing eyecare services to UK Prisons. Now the largest provider of optometry services into prisons in England and Wales, The Trust is flourishing. Not only are the amazing results manifested in recidivism, but also the glasses produced! You can check out our range of affordable glasses to support the cause.
2. Why is reducing recidivism paramount?
It is a broadly agreed notion that the justice system is in need of reform in many countries. Even high-profile celebrities are adding their two cents to the dialogue - most notably Kim Kardashian West. As Harper’s Bazaar reported, the star of the Kardashian clan is currently producing her own documentary series about prison reform in the US. The Guardian also stated that the proportion of UK prisoners with drug problems doubled in just five years. It is clear that action needs to be taken. This is why we are proud to be making a contributing effort.
The Prison Opticians Trust gives offenders a new start in life. One such success story is Tamara. As she states in her story, “the course started to raise my confidence in myself and my future.” After being arrested for fraud, Tamara thought that her prospects in life were dismal. Thanks to the efforts of the Trust, she has restored hope for herself and her new career as an optical assistant. It’s stories like hers that testify to the importance of reducing recidivism. Seeing the positive impact it has on people is invaluable and we will continue to strive to help offenders help themselves.
We hope you enjoyed our first blog post! If you want to know more about The Prison Opticians Trust and JustSpecs, then please check out the Daily Express article featuring us.