Mack Alford inmates join fight against Coronavirus
STRINGTOWN, Okla. -- Bad decisions may have landed them here, but they aren’t letting it define the rest of their lives. These men at Mack Alford Correctional Center are using their sentences to serve others.
“It’s kind of cool. I was watching the news and I heard them say they’ll need to make more masks. “inmate Jonathon Choate said, “I wonder If they’ll let us do that?”
Until recently, this factory run by Oklahoma Correctional Industries, produced prison uniforms. But the inmates were re-trained to sew sneeze and cough guards for healthcare workers.
“These are two ply, a double layer of material with elastic around the ears. The masks provide a layer of protection to those on the front lines,” OCI sales representative Rocky Cook said.
Before now, most of these men had little experience with a sewing machine. They are now capable of producing hundreds of face masks each day.
“I think they want about 500 masks each day and a total of 52,000,” inmate Kyle Eulitt said.
Each mask made is potentially another life saved. And just as soon as they are finished, staff members deliver the clothe masks to the courageous folks battling this deadly virus.
“Every place we’ve called has needed masks, “Cook said. “We just want to do our part to protect the community and the state as much as we can.”
Mack Alford is one of four Department of Corrections facilities making these masks for inmates, staff and healthcare providers.
“Everything they are saying on the news, the way it spreads through coughing and sneezing, I think these can cut that down,” Eulitt said. “I’m glad I can give back to the community. It gives me a sense of pride.”