Kelly Rowland is being thanked for helping to protect some of Atlanta and Houston’s prison and jail populations from catching COVID-19.
Reform Alliance, the criminal justice reform organization started by Jay-Z, Van Jones, and others, announced that Rowland donated 70,000 masks to inmates in Harris County, Texas, and Fulton County, Georgia. The organization will then distribute the masks.
Reform Alliance has been focusing on providing inmates with personal protective equipment since the virus began spreading in the U.S. earlier this year.
Rowland was born in Atlanta, most of which is in Fulton County, and raised in Houston, where the Harris County Jail is, which seems to be the reasons why she chose those two places to donate.
“We’re grateful to Kelly for her generosity and care for our incarcerated population,” said Jones in a statement, who’s Reform Alliance’s CEO. “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 Houston Chronicle reported that in May over 1,000 inmates and staff in the Harris County jail have been infected with the novel coronavirus. That number had increased to 1,300 as of late June.
Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail doesn’t have as many cases as the Harris County facility, but inmates can still catch the virus fairly easily because of their living conditions.
Earlier this month, Tracy Flanagan, spokeswoman for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, said out of the 275 inmates tested for COVID-19 in that county since March, 33 have tested positive.
Rowland’s donation comes after Twitter founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey donated $10 million to Reform Alliance. The organization then began giving out surgical masks to every prison and jail in the United States.