Third Wisconsin DOC inmate dies after contracting COVID-19

A third Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) inmate has died after contracting COVID-19, the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed on Thursday, Oct. 22.

The Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution inmate was identified as a 56-year-old male who became ill and was brought to a hospital for treatment, where he died. The medical examiner's office listed the cause of death as COVID-19 pneumonia and Type 2 diabetes and obesity as contributing factors.

Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution

A coalition of families, faith-based groups and community organizations continue to gather outside the Governor's Mansion, urging him to release certain inmates from some of the state's prisons to help with social distancing.

"People who are incarcerated did not get sentenced to death," Jan Gilbert, whose son is incarcerated at Columbia Correctional Institution, said.

Groups urge Gov. Evers to release certain inmates from certain facilities to help with social distancing

The first two DOC inmates to die after contracting COVID-19 were housed inside Dodge Correctional Institution.

"It's time for us to address COVID-19 in our state prison, we feel we can reduce the population safely and maintain community safety in a way that can help us get some social distancing," said Jerome Dillard, state director of EXPO.

Eugene Crisler

Eugene Crisler, who was released from New Lisbon Correctional Institution 45 days ago, said he witnessed first-hand the difficulties of social distancing inside a facility. He is now part of the coalition advocating for the release of certain inmates.

"We're all human, we all make choices, we all have to live with our choices, but that doesn't mean we need to be condemned," said Crisler.

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FOX6 News reached out to the DOC regarding the latest report of an inmate death. The DOC provided the following statement:

"Our priority during this public health crisis is the safety and health of DOC staff and persons in our care. We have taken many steps to keep COVID-19 out of our institutions and limit the spread of the virus at facilities with positive cases. Health Services staff at DOC institutions, in collaboration with local health departments and the state Department of Health Services, are diligently working to meet the medical needs of persons in our care who contract this virus."


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