PPE initiative sends more than 6 million masks to U.S. jails, prisons

The distribution was fueled by a partnership between the REFORM Alliance, the National Sheriffs' Association and the Correctional Leaders Association

By Sarah Calams

WASHINGTON — More than 6 million protective masks have been sent to jails and prisons across 47 states in an effort to send PPE to every jail and prison in the U.S.

The distribution of masks was made possible thanks to the partnership between the REFORM Alliance, a newly established organization that is committed to advancing criminal justice reform, and the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA). NSA helped REFORM deliver the masks into jails in over 1,460 counties across its 43 member states. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also contributed $10 million to help with the PPE campaign.

"Our great partnership with REFORM has provided nearly 1,500 counties across the nation with PPE we desperately need to protect our jail employees and incarcerated individuals. Once COVID-19 infects our facilities, it takes off like a wildfire. This innovative collaboration helps make our jails safer during the international pandemic," NSA president and Dane (Wis.) Sheriff Dave Mahoney said.   

REFORM also received assistance from many state DOCs.

"We greatly appreciate the effort from REFORM Alliance to get much-needed PPE into correctional facilities across America," said Kevin Kempf, executive director of the Correctional Leaders Association. "These masks are helping protect not only incarcerated individuals, but correctional officers and critical frontline staff who commute to and from our facilities every day. We look forward to continuing to partner with REFORM to keep as many people safe from the virus as possible."

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