Published Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Prisoners make face masks
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Prisoners in the jails of Limón and Alajuela provinces are manufacturing more than 14,000 reusable face masks, which follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Health, and are to be worn by employees, officers and prisoners, announced the Ministry of Justice.
In the Limón jail, cloth masks are manufactured by three prisoners who learned sewing in courses developed by the National Institute of Learning.
The production of face masks in prisons is part of the sanitary measures in place to face the current emergency by covid-19. Raw materials were purchased by the administration in charge in each prison.
The delivery of the masks to the prisoners is organized by the health department of each jail, after educating the prisoners of recommendations on the proper use, said the ministry.
"We have taken advantage of the human talent and sewing skills that prisoners have to promote the project to manufacture face masks to supply the jail and to use it during disciplinary care, in the educational area, judicial practices and also complying with social distancing and coexistence social bubbles by areas,” said Giovanna Cleland, director of the Limón prison.
According to the ministry, each prisoner will have three reusable face masks.
Also, in the Alajuela jail, nine prisoners are manufacturing 10,000 face masks. To carry out this work, the women's prison lent two industrial cooking machines.
For their work, prisoners receive a cash incentive that helps them financially help their families.
According to the ministry, the Vilma Curling women's prison will also begin manufacturing face masks.
In May, 20 women jailed at the women's prison were producing gowns for Social Security health workers.
According to the ministry, the construction and equipment of the workshop, the construction of a computer lab, plus the training of women cost $880,777 from the ministry budget.
"We provide the opportunity for women in prison to acquire skills or improve it, with a view to creating a future job opportunity, also they will make their contribution to the country's efforts," said Fiorella Salazar, Minister of Justice.
Social Security provided the fabrics and the National Learning Institute donated sewing machines for the women in the factory to make hospital workers' clothes. "The guidance department of the jail carried out the selection process for women to have the right staff for this job," the ministry said.
The workshop is part of the ministry's Building Opportunities program, which aims to help women in prison develop skills to increase their chances of social reintegration.
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