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In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state will start producing its own hand sanitizer to combat the spread of COVID-19. The announcement was met with widespread criticism when it was found that the hand sanitizer would be made by prisoners who earn roughly 62 cents an hour. While the governor has promised that the hand sanitizer would be distributed to prisons and available for use by prisoners, the Marshall Project’s Keri Blakinger says that her own investigation into the issue can’t confirm that this is the case. The problem is, she says, the hand sanitizer they have prisoners making contains alcohol, making it widely banned for use in prisons. “Looking at the rules they have online, it doesn’t look like alcohol-based hand sanitizer is allowed,” she says. “The prison system has been ignoring my questions and questions from other reporters about whether they’re going to change that.”


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