Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel. (photo provided by Department of Corrections)

A person incarcerated at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, has died from COVID-19, according to information posted on the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections website on Friday.

It is the third death of a state prisoner related to COVID-19. 

According to the website, the person who died had underlying health conditions. More information regarding the identity of the individual and the circumstances of their death was not immediately available. 

Department of Corrections spokesperson Ken Pastorick did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women now has the most confirmed cases of coronavirus of any state correctional facility in Louisiana, with 97 prisoners having tested positive. That number increased by 42 from Friday morning to Friday afternoon. 

According to a January report from the DOC, due to flooding in 2016 that damaged the original location, LCIW inmates are now held in two locations — Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, LA, and a former juvenile correctional facility in Baker, LA. The DOC reports COVID tracking data at LCIW as a single facility and does not provide details on where infected inmates are located.

The DOC also updated its reporting on Friday to provide the number of positive inmates who were symptomatic or asymptomatic at the facility. Fifty-eight who tested positive were symptomatic, while the other 39 were asymptomatic.

The women’s prison is currently the only DOC facility where those numbers are being provided on the website. It is unclear why that is the case, or if any other facilities are testing asymptomatic prisoners at all. 

Overall, there have been 166 confirmed cases of coronavirus in DOC facilities throughout the state. Four of those prisoners have recovered, according to the DOC.

Three DOC staff members have died from the virus, including both the warden and head medical director at Raymond Laborde Correctional Institution.  Overall, 85 DOC staff members have tested positive for the virus.

Last week, The Advocate reported that Louisiana’s longest serving female prisoner, Gloria Williams, affectionately named “Mama Glo,” had been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus. She was being held at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women. 

Williams had been given a favorable recommendation for clemency by The Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole last summer, but has remained incarcerated awaiting a signature from Gov. John Bel Edwards ever since.

This story has been updated with new information on COVID-19 cases at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women.

Clarification: This story was updated to clarify that LCIW inmates are held at two locations.

Nick Chrastil

Nicholas Chrastil covers criminal justice for The Lens. As a freelancer, his work has appeared in Slate, Undark, Mother Jones, and the Atavist, among other outlets. Chrastil has a master's degree in mass...