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Alabama ranks fourth for prison virus deaths

December 12, 2020 GMT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has one of the highest rates of inmate deaths from COVID-19, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press and the Marshall Project.

In Alabama prisons, 43 inmates and two staff members have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to prison system numbers. That ranks fourth in the country for the number of COVID-19 deaths per 10,000 inmates, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press and the Marshall Project.

The state previously ranked ninth.

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The Alabama prisons system has said most deaths, like those outside prison walls, have occurred in inmates with preexisting health conditions and older inmates.

The state over the last week reported the deaths of five inmates. The youngest man was 58. Three were over age 70.

Criminal justice reform advocates have called for the release of vulnerable and elderly inmates and an increase in paroles to alleviate extreme overcrowding, as well as for the mass testing of inmates.