Eleventh Incarcerated Individual in the Connecticut Department of Corrections Passes Away from COVID-19 After Already Been Cleared for Release Through Reentry Furlough

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, December 19th, 2020

 

Contact:  

Kenyatta Thompson, kthompson@katalcenter.org | (860) 937-6094

Yan Snead, ysnead@katalcenter.org | (518) 360-1534

Follow on Twitter @KatalCenter | #FreeThemNowCT #COVIDBehindBars

 

Eleventh Incarcerated Individual in the Connecticut Department of Corrections Passes Away from COVID-19 After Already Been Cleared for Release Through Reentry Furlough

 

With over 2500 Incarcerated Individuals Testing Positive for COVID-19 and the Virus Continuing to Spread, Governor Lamont and the Legislature Must Develop a Comprehensive Plan that Will Immediately Release Incarcerated People to Save Lives

 

Hartford, CT – On Friday, a eleventh incarcerated person in Connecticut passed away due to COVID-19 in the Department of Corrections (DOC). This is the fourth incarcerated person to pass away in the DOC in a month, and comes just ten days after the death of another incarcerated person on December 9. The incarcerated man, who was incarcerated on a drug charge, was cleared to be released through reentry furlough prior to passing away. His name was not released to the public. This tragic and preventable death underscores the urgency to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 plan in the Department of Corrections to release people from Connecticut jails and prisons to avoid needless deaths. Governor Lamont has simply refused to do so. 

Katal offers our condolences to the family of the latest victim of COVID-19 in the Connecticut Department of Corrections. Without action from the Lamont Administration, it is clear there will be more needless and preventable deaths. Since the onset of the pandemic, 2,553 incarcerated individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, and eleven incarcerated individuals have passed away across Connecticut jails and prisons due to the virus. In recent weeks, COVID-19 has spiked at Osborn, York, Cheshire, Garner, Hartford, and MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institutions. Recently, Katal Member Raquel spoke to Fox61 regarding the horrid and inhumane conditions in the Connecticut DOC. The Lamont Administration's refusal to to develop a legitimate COVID-19 plan for state correctional facilities is reprehensible as the death toll continues to mount.

The Governor and the DOC continue to fail to heed the advice of public health officials and epidemiologists who call for immediate decarceration of jails and prisons. Given that Black and Latinx communities are being hit particularly hard by COVID-19, and are also disproportionately incarcerated in CT prisons and jails, inaction on COVID-19 in prisons and jails will just exacerbate the impact of the pandemic on people of color in our state. As we approach the 2021 legislative session, it is inexcusably clear that Governor Lamont will not act, the Legislature must move swiftly to pass bills requiring preventive measures to release incarcerated individuals and build a comprehensive plan for pandemics like COVID-19 to save lives and keep all constituents safe. Without action, there will be more needless deaths.

 

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