Prisoners in Carson City producing hand sanitizer
Silver State Industries, the industrial arm of the Nevada Department of Corrections, has launched a hand sanitizer manufacturing program to increase the supply for medical personnel, corrections, and other law enforcement throughout Nevada.
“NDOC saw a need for additional protective measures for their staff, and for others in Nevada who are serving on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19,” said Charles Daniels, NDOC director. “Offenders at Northern Nevada Correctional Center are now producing thousands of bottles a day to meet this urgent demand for personal protective equipment.”
Hand sanitizer is a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19 and an effective hygiene option when soap and water are not available. Providing hand sanitizer to protect Nevada’s essential workers like corrections, law enforcement and medical providers is one way NDOC is supporting the state during the COVID-19 response.
Starting in early March, William Quenga, deputy director of industrial programs at NDOC, began working with Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate and locate supplies needed for hand sanitizer including:
Hundreds of gallons of distilled water, ethanol (supplied by Bently Heritage), glyercine, and isopropyl.
Barrels, tubes, nozzles, and other equipment for manufacturing.
2 ounce, 10 ounce, and one gallon plastic bottles to hold the hand sanitizer.
Paper labels, shipping boxes, and trucks for distributing.
“I’m really proud of Silver State Industries and our State of Nevada partners for quickly bringing all of these components together,” said Quenga. “I’m also proud of our offenders for working hard to produce something so important during this pandemic. We now have a pipeline of supplies in place, and can produce thousands of bottles a day as demand requires.”
Once manufactured, the hand sanitizer is being shipped statewide to hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies, police stations, and NDOC facilities. This distribution network was established by DHHS.
“Quickly getting hand sanitizer into the field is an important part of Nevada’s response to COVID-19,” said Richard Whitley, DHHS director. “Despite the global shortage of hand sanitizer, Nevadans should know that their medical and law enforcement professionals have this protective measure in bulk.”
The availability of hand sanitizer is just one of many public health measures the department is taking to detect and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Nevada. At its own facilities, NDOC suspended visitation, screens all staff and offenders for symptoms of COVID-19, and employs Surface Sanitation Teams to thoroughly clean surfaces using a 10% bleach solution, among other pro-active strategies.
For more information about Silver State Industries, please visit http://www.ssi.nv.gov.
To learn more about NDOC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit
For more information on COVID-19, please visit NV Health Response at http://www.nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.