Reform Alliance, an organization committed to advancing criminal justice reform, announced on Thursday (June 25) that it has received a 70,000-mask donation from Kelly Rowland.
Reform will provide the personal protective equipment to prison and jail facilities in Harris County, Texas, where Rowland was raised, as well as Fulton County, Georgia, Rowland’s birthplace, to protect incarcerated individuals, correctional officers, healthcare workers and personnel from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re grateful to Kelly for her generosity and care for our incarcerated population,” Reform Alliance CEO Van Jones said in a statement. “As our country shifts its attention to re-opening, we can’t forget about the millions of people that remain incarcerated and that continue to struggle with the devastating threat of COVID-19. Kelly’s donation is crucial in helping Reform deliver PPE to every prison and jail across America.”
The Harris County and Fulton County jails have already seen a severe number of COVID-19 cases. According to The Houston Chronicle, more than 1,000 incarcerated people and staff in the Harris County jail had contracted coronavirus by the middle of May, marking one of the highest infection rates for jails in the U.S. Last week, there were about 1,300 total cases in the jail.
In Fulton County, 37 cases have been reported.
Rowland’s generosity follows last month’s partnership between Reform and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, in which they delivered more than 10 million masks to prisons nationwide. In addition, they released a PSA (watch here) that details how COVID-19 is threatening to turn prison sentences into death sentences for the 2.3 million people that are currently incarcerated. Of that total, roughly 95,000 people are incarcerated for nonviolent, technical probation violations, such as being late to a probation appointment or filing inaccurate paperwork.