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TDOC Inmates Join COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

Wednesday, April 01, 2020 | 02:55pm
Offenders at the Morgan County Correctional Complex making face masks.

HENNING AND WARTBURG – As the novel COVID-19 virus continues to grip the world and we all work to do our part in combating this pandemic, some help is coming from an area you may not expect – Tennessee Department of Correction’s offender population.  Offenders throughout the state have made it known to TDOC leadership their desire to try and help Tennessee’s communities quell the spread of COVID-19.  After discussions with its industrial partner, TRICOR, the department was able to present those at the Morgan County Correctional Complex and West Tennessee State Penitentiary the opportunity to get involved by utilizing the TRICOR textile facilities at both prisons to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE).

Since last Friday, offenders at MCCX have been manufacturing protective face masks, and protective gowns are being manufactured at WTSP.  The materials for the PPE, is a type of material often used for protection on construction sites known as Tyvek, which was donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement.

“It has been a blessing to make these gowns,” said one offender at WTSP working to make gowns.  “Our work is helping someone in the community and it could even help our loved ones. It’s uplifting knowing we can help, and we pray that everyone gets better soon.”

Over 2,000 masks and over 800 gowns have been made and donated since last Friday; the Department estimates approximately 1,000 to 1,500 masks and 200 plus gowns will be made daily.  The PPEs are being shipped to TEMA who is then disseminating them to medical facilities throughout the state who are in the greatest need for them.

Offenders making gowns at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary.