Beginning March 17, Pennsylvania Correctional Industries stopped production at its garment factories system-wide to focus on manufacturing cloth masks to be used by Department of Corrections employees and inmates.
“As part of the Department of Corrections preparedness planning, in mid-March, I directed all of our employees and inmates to wear masks,” said Secretary John Wetzel. “We didn’t want to take from the community supply, so we began making the masks in-house at several of our state prisons.”
To date, PCI has made a total of 185,136 masks, which have been supplied to all DOC facilities and offices, including parole agents and parole supervision staff. DOC employees were provided with three masks each, and every inmate was provided with two masks.
“Over the weekend, at the request of the governor’s office, we manufactured and shipped cloth masks for essential commonwealth employees,” Wetzel added.
Other COVID-19-related items now being made daily by PCI include:
– 36,000 bars of antibacterial soap
– 255 gowns
– 1,620 packs/27 cases of PDF-45 Disinfectant
Inmates are working 12-hour shifts, six days a week to produce these items.
PCI is a bureau within the DOC that employs inmates to produce a variety of items that are available for sale to nonprofit organizations and government entities located throughout Pennsylvania. It is self-sustaining through the sale of products and services and receives no taxpayer money.
More information is available at cor.pa.gov/Pages/COVID-19.aspx