Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Reform AllianceSalute to kings Jay-Z and Meek Mill and their REFORM Alliance for donating more than 130,000 surgical masks to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The donation went to correctional facilities to help inmates, correctional officers, and health care workers.
REFORM Alliance joined forces with advocate Shaka Senghor to send about 100,000 surgical masks to various prisons, as states suffer from a shortage of medical supplies to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
The organization released a statement via its website addressing the pandemic and its ongoing effect on the jails and prisons at risk.
“COVID-19 spreads most quickly in crowded and closed environments, and our jails and prisons are at high risk for an outbreak. This is a huge threat to public health,” the statement reads. “Right now, hardly any government officials have a plan to address this crisis. REFORM does.”
“We have worked with experts and advocates from across the political aisle to develop a set of common-sense recommendations that would make us all SAFER.”
Both federal and state prisons are facing hurdles in managing the COVID-19 threat as prison officers, guards and inmates test positive for the virus.
New York’s Rikers Island will receive 50,000 masks, while an additional 2,500 masks are being sent to its medical facility. Rikers is one of the world’s largest prison facilities and has been hit hard as New York City has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.
In addition, 40,000 masks will be sent to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, and 5,000 are going to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. 30,000 more are going to prisons in South Carolina.
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