LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada Department of Corrections has put more than 100 prisoners to work making medical gowns and masks.
The program, which has been manufacturing the items since March 25, is producing about 500 gowns and 3,500 masks every day.
“NDOC has the experience, equipment, and manpower needed to mass-produce personal protective equipment,” NDOC Director Charles Daniels said in a statement on Thursday. “The global shortage is putting people at risk of contracting COVID-19, and our department is doing its part by helping meet this urgent demand for medical gowns and masks.”
Prisoners at the Lovelock Correctional Center and the Northern Nevada Correctional Center are working around the clock to produce PPE, according to a news release. Some inmates have said they are glad they can help others get through the crisis.
The prison system and county jails have been criticized by the Nevada ACLU for failing to find a way to keep inmates further apart to avoid the spread of COVID-19 within prisons. Employees at prisons have tested positive, but COVID-19 cases in the inmate population have not been reported.
The items are being shipped to medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other places throughout Nevada.
The prison system’s industrial arm is known as Silver State Industries.
Inmates have already been making containers of hand sanitizer.