A 12th inmate has died from COVID-19 complications at a southern Michigan prison where more than 50% of inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Corrections Department said Monday.
Lakeland prison in Branch County has a large share of the department’s older prisoners and is the first to test everyone.
The department said 785 of roughly 1,400 prisoners at Lakeland have tested positive. Only a fraction of all prisoners have been tested statewide, but the infection rate was 56%. There have been at least 33 deaths.
The deaths include an 86-year-old man, Eugene Shingle, who was scheduled to be released on parole by May 19.
Despite the low rate of overall testing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer described it as “robust.” She said the Parole Board also is working quickly to get eligible people out of prison.
Among staff, 254 have tested positive for the coronavirus and there have been two deaths, the department said.
Separately, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Sunday to try to force the release of immigrants with health problems at the Calhoun County jail. The jail has approximately 130 people who are being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.