Men Behind The Bars…And Behind The Masks.
I have never been in prison. The threat of being locked up for any length of time has been deterrent enough for me to keep my hi-jinks mostly to myself. But, if I was locked up, I'd darn sure want something to do! It seems at the James River Correctional Center in Jamestown, there are jobs aplenty. These days, one of those jobs is making masks aplenty.
Beginning in April of 2020, Rough Rider Industries changed their manufacturing model to include the production of face coverings. As the pandemic marched on, the residents sewed on. Now they're on track to complete 100,000 masks by the end of August.
AP News reports the first big 12,000 mask order was for the U.S military. Another major order is currently underway, as the inmates are making 32,000 masks for the University of North Dakota. These "darning dudes" can actually knock out 6,000 masks a week.
Manufacturing masks is just one aspect of the inmate assembly line sourced by Rough Rider Industries. Residents at JRCC, get to earn a little extra cash while creating office furniture, dumpsters, mattresses, park equipment and more. But now, they've increased their focus on covering your face.
While mask wearing is still the favorite punching bag for social media "comment commandos", mask use needs to increase before mask making can decrease. So keep up the good work gentlemen and hopefully you're working your way out of the joint and right back into your rightful places in our communities. Maybe by that time your mask making skills won't be needed.