Indiana Offenders Produce Protective Equipment For First Responders

Mar 27, 2020

Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Rob Carter says offenders are producing 200 gowns per day.
Credit Lauren Chpman/IPB News)

The Indiana Department of Correction is manufacturing personal protective equipment for first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Commissioner Rob Carter says originally, the Department of Correction was poised to start manufacturing hand sanitizer, but after the first case in Indiana, those priorities changed.

“I was brought into conversation by Governor [Eric] Holcomb with some hospital professionals here in Indiana to discuss the needs of the hospitals and just statewide needs of personal protection,” Carter says.

The Department of Correction took samples from hospitals and reverse-engineered the process to make face shields, masks and gowns.

The shop at the Miami Correctional Facility was already designed to make offender uniforms. It moved to making gowns soon after the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in the state.

Already, it is producing about 200 gowns per day, and Carter expects to reach that level of production in masks by Monday. The shop is currently producing 650 12-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer per day.

In a statement, the governor's office said the Department of Correction plans to repurpose another production line at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility to expand the production of protective equipment.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.