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Eddie Warrior inmates accept challenge to sew face masks

Friday, April 24, 2020

TAFT, Okla. – It’s a symphony of songbirds and sewing machines. Not the sounds you’d expect enveloping an Oklahoma prison. But these are unfamiliar times.  

Recently, about a dozen inmates were chosen for a special sewing project. 

“My grandmother was a seamstress, “correctional unit assistant Rebecca Landers said. “From the time I was two or three she had me on her lap.” 

Landers wanted to share that lifetime of sewing experience with these women. They were eager to learn. 

“We get here at 8:00am and stay until 4:00pm,” one inmate told us. 

Five days a week, the inmates are sewing custom face masks. 

“See, it has thimbles and thread on it,” Landers said. “I have a specialty mask.” 

So far, these ladies have sewn more than a thousand masks, using donated machines and fabric.  

“These have oranges on them,” an inmate said. “After all, orange IS the new black.” 

The masks are an answered prayer for first responders, county jails and others in need. 

“We have made at least a thousand,” said inmate Meshell Uriarte. “We are also donating to the prison yard as needed.” 

There is a palpable sense of pride here at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, knowing their work is potentially life saving.   

“It feels good to help the community, Uriarte said. “Even though we’ve done bad, it’s nice to know we are doing something good.”    

It’s never too late to have a positive impact on others. 

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