Ky. ACLU responds to first coronavirus death an incarcerated person

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CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Friday morning, an offender at Green River Correctional Complex died after battling COVID-19.

This is the first incarcerated person to die related to coronavirus in Kentucky.

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Kentucky’s American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, released a statement Friday night urging officials to reduce jail and prison populations, along with condolences to the family.

Part of the statement follows:

“We urge officials, from the local level to the Governor, to immediately take the steps outlined in this letter to reduce jail and prison populations. We especially urge the Department of Corrections and the Parole Board to immediately act to reduce the number of people living in crowded and unsanitary conditions by following the recommendations the Department of Public Advocacy provided weeks ago. Time is of the essence. Further delay will result in death.”

Governor Beshear said the inmate was serving a nine-year sentence out of Jefferson County and was not eligible for conditional commutations, or release.

The 49-year-old man was admitted to the hospital April 8, and tested positive the next day, according to the governor.

According to the governor’s office, the Kentucky Department of Corrections has approximately 12,000 incarcerated offenders in 13 prisons and 4,000 employees. Currently, 19 inmates and 15 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Five have recovered. The agency also supervises about 50,000 offenders in the community through probation and parole.