A gate at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville, where multiple inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Ryan Caron King | Connecticut Public Radio
A gate at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville, where multiple inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Ryan Caron King | Connecticut Public Radio

A 53-year-old incarcerated man died from COVID-19 on Sunday night. He was the sixth to die since Jan. 1 and the 19th since the onset of the pandemic.

He is the first person who had been imprisoned on bond at the time of his death from the virus — not convicted of the crimes for which he had been accused.

He was last arrested in March 2019 and been held on $155,000 bond on multiple charges of possessing child pornography.

The number of inmates serving sentences has fallen precipitously since the beginning of the pandemic, thanks in part to an uptick in the number of discretionary releases and a suspension of sentencing hearings, which has led to the sentenced population shrinking as inmates are released at the end of their sentence and not replaced by new people sentenced for their crimes.

As a result, there were 3,284 fewer people serving prison sentences on Jan. 25 than on March 1, 2020.

The number of unsentenced inmates, meanwhile, has stayed largely the same. There were 38 fewer unsentenced inmates behind bars on Jan. 25 than on March 1, 2020.

At a press conference Monday morning, Dr. Deidre Gifford, the state’s acting public health commissioner, said she did not have an estimate for when people in corrections facilities will be vaccinated for COVID-19.

According to the Department of Correction’s website, 80 inmates had contracted COVID and were symptomatic as of Jan. 25. One-hundred and eighty-seven were asymptomatic.

Almost 3,650 incarcerated people had contracted the virus as of Jan. 22. Eleven were in the hospital, a number decreased by at least two, following deaths on the 22nd and 25th.

CT Mirror reporter Jenna Carlesso contributed to this report.

Kelan is a Report For America Corps Member who covers the intersection of mental health and criminal justice for CT Mirror. Before joining CT Mirror, Kelan was a staff writer for City Weekly, an alt weekly in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a courts reporter for The Bryan-College Station Eagle, in Texas. He is originally from Philadelphia.

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