Inmates produce supplies

IOWA CITY (AP) — One of Iowa’s most reliable sources of personal protective equipment to fight the coronavirus has been a statewide prison labor program that can pay inmates as little as 58 cents per hour.

Prisoners across the state have helped make 98,000 masks, 40,000 gowns, 17,000 face shields and 24,000 gallons of hand sanitizer in recent weeks, the Iowa Department of Corrections says.

Inmates and staff at several prisons have been working weekends and nights to produce the supplies, which are being used to protect themselves, the guards, state employees and health care workers.

Female inmates at the prison in Mitchellville have made hand sanitizer. Male inmates at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility have made masks and gowns. Their counterparts in Anamosa have made face shields.

In all, more than 250 inmates and staff members have been involved in producing PPE.


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