MPIC Donates PPE to Hinds County Election Efforts

MPIC CEO Bradley Lum unloads hand sanitizer at the Hinds County Election Commission office.

Visit Jackson has facilitated the donation of 12,000 masks and a supply of hand sanitizer to the Hinds County Election Commission ahead of Tuesday’s general election. 

Mississippi Prison Industries Corporation (MPIC), a non-profit whose mission is to provide real work experiences for sentenced adult offenders residing within Mississippi correctional facilities, made the donation. 

“The need came to us, and we saw that there was an opportunity to partner with the City of Jackson and Hinds County to provide some equipment for purposes of maintaining safe and secure elections on November 3,” said Bradley Lum, CEO, Mississippi Prison Industries. “We’ve been involved in this (pandemic) for eight months, so we said, ‘Let’s figure out a way to help and be a part of this.’ We, fortunately, had the means to do that.”

The Hinds County Election Commission will provide prepacked “safe election kits” to poll workers on November 3 to encourage voters to turn out knowing their safety is being accounted for.

Toni Johnson speaks with Bradley Lum about PPE for election day.

“I want to say we’re very appreciative during the pandemic,” said Toni Johnson, Hinds County Election Commissioner, District 2. “We’re trying to conduct safe and secure elections and (the pandemic) has posed a bit of a challenge.”

Shirley Harrison, an office assistant for the Election Commission, detailed that all 108 polling locations will have standard PPE and “traffic cones” to show distance and ink pens for marking ballots that voters will be able to take with them.

“We do want to make sure that not only the poll workers feel safe, but the voters feel safe as well,” Johnson said. (This donation) is a big help, and we really appreciate it.”

The election is top-of-mind all across the country. Hinds County saw record absentee voter turnout (the number was reportedly near 17,000 – and over 231,000 statewide).

Voting now, she said, is more critical than ever.

“It is our constitutional right to (vote). That is how we run our democracy. If you don’t participate in that process, you really can’t have much room to complain or talk about what’s not happening. We want everyone to be able to exercise their rights and do it in a safe environment and be healthy while doing it.”

PPE is being prepared ahead of Tuesday’s election.

About MPIC
With facilities across the state, MPIC offers everything from welding to garment manufacturing and printing to recycling facilities. “Ultimately, we exist to train our prison population to ensure that they have a skill set ready so that when they walk out of prison, they can integrate back into society,” Lum said. “All of the things that we do are a means to an end, and that end is community integration and being a taxpaying citizen and being a contributing member of society.”

About Visit Jackson
Visit Jackson is the official destination leadership organization for the city of Jackson. The bureau serves Jackson by positively impacting the city’s economy through recruitment and procurement of meetings and tourism activities.

Created in 1983, Visit Jackson acts as a quasi-independent government agency reauthorized by the state legislature and governed by an independently appointed board of directors with members representing the hotel, restaurant, attraction, art, and education sectors.

Media Contact: Kim Lewis – klewis@visitjackson.com or 601.354.2553 for interviews, statements and story ideas.