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Prisoners make masks for COVID-19 protection

Posted at 10:30 AM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 12:30:33-04

Inmates at Montana prisons have been making personal protective equipment or PPE to help curb the coronavirus.

It's a project at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge and at the Montana Women's Prison in Billings.

Inmates in the sewing program have been making cloth masks, face shields, shoe covers, head covers, gowns and mask covers.

All the PPE is used in the prisons, correctonal facilities and at Alternatives in Billings to help with COVID-19.

"It's a great program for the inmates," said Gayle Butler, administrator for Montana Correctional Enterprises. "They're feeling like their a part of doing something to help with this pandemic. I walked around the sewing program on Wednesday, just thanking all the inmates and staff and they were very proud of what they are doing. I have the best job in the Department of Corrections as far as I'm concerned. I really get to see people change their lives. It's extremely rewarding to watch the offenders in our programs learn a skill, a work ethic, a trade, pride and to watch them change and want to give back to society and want to help their victims and want to support their families."

The PPE project is one of several for more than 700 inmates in the Department of Corrections program called Montana Correctional Enterprises.