Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Another inmate dies as COVID cases rise at Washington prisons

Nicholas K. Geranios
The Associated Press file
Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane has reported more than 800 coronavirus cases among its inmates and staff.

A prisoner at Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen has died from COVID-19. The Department of Corrections did not identify the inmate in a news release. But the person is the fourth in the state’s prisons to die from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 

Stafford Creek has reported more than 200 COVID-19 cases in its incarcerated population, along with 24 cases in staff. The other deaths happened at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell and at the state penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Cases are rising across Washington’s prisons. Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane is reporting more than 800 cases among staff and prisoners. And cases at the prison in Shelton have jumped past 400.

The big spikes are spurring renewed calls from advocates asking the state to release more prisoners to reduce crowding and spread. Family members of the incarcerated protested Thursday at the state Capitol, asking for more inmates to be released in order to reduce the chances they would contract the virus. 

News Washington PrisonsCOVID-19coronavirus
A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.