Another inmate dies as COVID cases rise at Washington prisons
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.