The following article, State Of New York Puts Prison Inmates To Work Producing Hand Sanitizer To Fight Coronavirus, was first published on Flag And Cross.
With the coronavirus spreading like wildfire all over the country — and the rest of the world — folks are beginning to panic, hitting stores and buying up all of the supplies possible to ensure that if some sort of forced quarantine goes down they are well supplied.
This has led many major retailers to run out of certain items, such as medical masks, hand sanitizer, water, and toilet paper.
However, the state of New York has found a way to fight back against this awful illness and the shortages it’s caused by putting prison inmates to work producing hand sanitizer.
Here’s more from Fox News:
New York is battling the coronavirus – and price gouging – with a germ-killing hand sanitizer produced by maximum-security prison inmates who work for less than 65 cents an hour.
“As the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus continues to rise, unscrupulous retailers are exploiting New Yorkers’ anxieties about the virus, and charging exorbitant prices for hand sanitizer and other similar products,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday at a news conference where he unveiled the new product.
He said the inmate-produced “NYS Clean Hand Sanitizer” will be available to New York residents free of charge as well as to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates New York’s subways and commuter railroads, to other state agencies and to New Rochelle, the Westchester County city that’s been the epicenter of the state’s coronavirus outbreak.
The New York Post quoted Cuomo saying that “it’s much cheaper for us to make it ourselves than to buy it on the open market.” He said a gallon jug of the state-produced product costs $6 to make.
While this may sound like a grand idea, many folks, like the Legal Aid Society, are saying this is a total exploitation of incarcerated New Yorkers for cheap hand sanitizer, equating the work with “slave labor.”
In all honesty, they may have a bit of a point. While these individuals have certainly forfeited their right to freedom because of the wicked choices they made to disobey the law, they are still human beings who should be treated with dignity.
Otherwise, we’re no better than them. There’s just something that doesn’t feel quite right about forcing them to work like this for pennies. Perhaps if it was made voluntary that would be different.
The hand sanitizer is being produced at Great Meadow Correctional facility, which is located in upstate New York. The facility has the capacity to produce 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer a week.