Investigation underway into death of Vermont inmate

Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 5:10 PM EST
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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - An investigation is underway after a prison inmate died in custody at the Northeast Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury.

The Vermont Department of Corrections says Michael DuPont, 36, of Barre City, who was in quarantine due to COVID protocol, was found in his cell Sunday around 3 p.m.

Officials say staff members found him with evidence of self-harm.

DuPont was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

DOC Commissioner James Baker says Vermont State Police and the Vermont defender general’s office are investigating to determine whether the department followed protocol.

“They will be conducting separate investigations in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Corrections internal review which includes an administrative review to determine if protocols were followed, a review of medical records by our medical director, a review by our medical provider, and then a third-party review of the medical piece of the review, " Baker explained.

Baker says inmates who are in quarantine are checked on every 30 minutes but they will now bump that up to every 15 minutes.

He says this is the second incident of self-harm in the system in the last six months.

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