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Inmates at the Simpson County Detention Center help make masks during COVID-19 pandemic

Inmates help make masks
Inmates help make masks(Ana Medina)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 8:55 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Right now, the Simpson County Detention Center doesn’t have any COVID-19 cases, but they’re still taking the necessary precautions.

Due to the restrictions COVID-19 imposed at the beginning, the jail knew it had to find a way to help create jobs for inmates, so they decided to make masks and have the inmates.

Danielle Cook, an inmate who helps make masks, “just helps us feel like we can contribute to you know because you’re here you kind of, you know, feel like you wish you could do more, but at least this way, it gives us an opportunity to do that.”

The detention center is finding a way to turn something negative into something positive.

“We were fortunate that we weren’t having to deal with it, we were taking very aggressive precautionary measures and when you do that, that starts slowing down the work activities that the inmates can do,” says Simpson County Detention Center Jailer Eric Vaughn.

The jail wanted to create jobs and also keep the inmates isolated, “we wanted to make the program to give our residents something to do during this off time. Something that would help them stay safe along with other jails,” said Class D Coordinator, Lacy Roberts.

Vaughn adds, “We decided we were going to make masks because masks were very expensive, at the time when all this started, you couldn’t get them, they’re hard to find was like, we’ll make our own. So we got sewing machines out and we start creating jobs, we got the material donated to us, and we made masks for every resident here in the facility. Now, once we got that done, it was like, we can do more because we got all this material left, and from that point on was like, let’s help out other jails in our region, and not just our region, the state.”

Lacy Roberts adds that it helps everyone, especially the inmates, “It makes them feel like they’re doing something important with their time while they’re here because they are helping prevent something that is very serious. We have donated about 4000 masks to other jails in the state of Kentucky to help fight their load as well.”

“In here’s it’s like you kind of feel helpless as far as being able to, you know, do things but they’ve given us the opportunity to feel like we help people,” says Danielle Cook.

Jailer Vaughn also adds, “if anybody in the state needs masks, we’re making them so you know, we’ll be glad to help in any way.”

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