Big Island Inmates Sew & Donate 920 Face Masks for Those in Need

Inmates in the Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center (HCCC) and Kulani Correctional Facility (KCF) sewing program, under the direction of Hawai‘i Correctional Industries (HCI), made 920 cloth face coverings for those in need in the community. Today was the final day of distribution. The masks were made with materials that were donated by people from all over Hawaii Island.

PC: Hawaii Department of Public Safety

“The men assisted in choosing what organizations the masks would be delivered to and worked hard to quickly finish sewing them so they could be delivered to community organizations this week. They are thankful to be given an opportunity to use their recently learned sewing skills to give something positive back to the community,” said Kulani Warden Wanda Craig.

Tani Freitas – Kulani Correctional Facility employee – with Hope Services staff. PC: Hawaii Department of Public Safety

The masks were delivered to the following agencies, in the numbers requested:

• Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawaii
• Hope Services Hawaii 
• Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center
• Hawaii Care Choices (formerly Hospice of Hilo)
• Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home
• Legacy Hilo Rehabilitation & Nursing Center
• Life Care Center of Hilo

Inmates in the sewing program at the two Hawai‘i island facilities and at the Waiawa Correctional Facility (WCF), are producing as many as 4,000 masks a day for sale through HCI. HCI is confidently estimating that the program will be able to produce more than 300,000 masks for sale across the state by the end of June.

Tani Freitas – Kulani Correctional Facility employee with Karen Sawyer – Director of Nursing at Legacy Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. PC: Hawaii Department of Public Safety

“We would like to extend a huge mahalo to our new partner Aloha Air Cargo. They graciously offered to ship completed masks from Hilo to O‘ahu free of charge, and we can’t thank them enough for offering their service to us during these trying times,” said Shawntay Yasuda, HCI operations manager.

HCI is taking orders for cloth masks from state agencies and the public. Hawai‘i Correctional Industries can be reached at 808-677-6638 or by email at psd.hawaiici@hawaii.gov.