HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — An inmate at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown has died from complications related to the coronavirus.
The victim was the third Maryland inmate to die from COVID-19 while in custody.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) May 7, 2020
The man was in his 60s and have underlying medical conditions. He was at the Hagerstown prison until he was hospitalized in late April.
“The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services extends sympathy and condolences to the family of an inmate who died May 6 from complications related to COVID-19,” the state’s correctional department said in a statement.
Julie Magers is an advocate for inmates and knew the latest victim. The the state is not identifying him by name out of privacy concerns.
“How many people are dying who we don’t know about?” she asked. “People who are incarcerated have a justified reason for worrying, especially those who are vulnerable.”
Magers said she worried about this inmate’s condition for weeks.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking,” she said when she found out he died. “I had looked him up every day to see how he was. When I looked him up yesterday, it said he was out of custody. My heart dropped because I knew,” she told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren.
Magers, who leads the Maryland Prisoners’ Rights Coalition, said there needs to be universal testing of inmates and staff.
“How can you say we have this under control if you’re not identifying, testing and reporting?”
The corrections secretary told state lawmakers Thursday he is working to make sure the system is safe. You can watch the virtual hearing by clicking here.
Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday he was expanding testing for correctional officers.
There are almost 250 positive cases in the Maryland correctional system.
The majority are officers.