Iowa inmates earn $1.15 per hour producing COVID-19 supplies

Iowa News

This March 24, 2020 photo provided by the Iowa Department of Corrections shows Inmates working to produce hand sanitizer at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa. Inmates have produced thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer, masks, face shields and gowns as Iowa faces a shortage of personal protective equipment needed to fight the coronavirus. (Iowa Department of Corrections via AP) I

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — One of Iowa’s most reliable sources of personal protective equipment to fight the coronavirus has been a statewide prison labor program that can pay inmates as little as 58 cents per hour.

Prisoners have helped make 98,000 masks, 40,000 gowns, 17,000 face shields, and 24,000 gallons of hand sanitizer in recent weeks.

The Iowa Department of Corrections says inmates and staff at several prisons have been working weekends and nights, including 12 hours on Easter Sunday, to produce the supplies.

The gear is used to protect inmates, guards, state employees, and health care workers.

Inmates make between 58 cents and $1.92 per hour.

This undated photo provided by the Iowa Department of Corrections shows Inmates working to produce isolation gowns at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility in Mitchellville, Iowa. Inmates have produced thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer, masks, face shields and gowns as Iowa faces a shortage of personal protective equipment needed to fight the coronavirus.(Iowa Department of Corrections via AP)

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