Detroit councilwoman delivers masks to Wayne County Jail inmates

Evan James Carter
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Detroit City councilwoman and General Motors have come together to provide protective gear to inmates and staff at the Wayne County Jail.

Detroit City Council Pro Tem Mary Sheffield on Thursday delivered 7,000 face masks for inmates as well as 6,200 latex gloves and 150 face shields for deputies and staff at the jail, according to a release from Sheffield's office.

Detroit Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield and Wayne County Sheriff's Office Chief of Jails and Court Operations Robert Dunlap help unload personal protective equipment, secured by Sheffield from General Motors, in front of the Wayne County Jail Thursday.

The councilwoman received the masks from General Motors to support her new initiative “Masks for Inmates.”

"Being charged with a crime and in some cases even being convicted of a crime does not strip a person of their right to be protected from COVID-19 and the opportunity to live," Sheffield said. "So, I’m grateful to be in a position where I can do my part to make sure people in jail have access to personal protective equipment."

“Masks for Inmates” is part of her ongoing desire to help those in need, according to the office of the councilwoman, who represents the city's 5th District, covering the lower east side, downtown, the riverfront and central portions of Detroit. Sheffield worked at Division 3 in the Wayne County Jail for two years as a disciplinary hearing officer before being elected to the Detroit City Council.

GM said it was proud of the initiative that allowed it to "play a small part in helping Detroit."

“So many people have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in some way,” said Heidi Magyar, director of GM corporate giving. “But it has also been inspiring to see the resilience of Detroiters, and to read so many stories of people helping each other during this time."

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter