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Inmates died of natural causes

The deaths of two inmates at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women (FCCW) in Troy have been ruled as “natural” by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond.

Jeannette Collins, central district administrator, said in an email that Carolyn Liberto, 70, died on July 21 of hypertensive cardiovascular disease and Deanna Niece, 38, died on July 25 of a pulmonary embolism. 

The Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) announced the deaths of the two women at FCCW late Thursday (July 27), but gave little detail. In an email Friday, spokesperson Gregory Carter said, “DOC does not release offenders’ medical information to the public.”

While the deaths were found to be of natural causes, there will undoubtedly still be questions given the troubled history of medical care at the prison. 

Inmates brought a suit in federal court in 2012 alleging “systemic, pervasive, and ongoing” failure to meet even the minimum standard set by the state for medical care. Inmates claimed they were denied treatment, medication, and access to medical care outside the institution's privately-run clinic.

In a settlement agreement approved by the courts in February 2016, FCCW accepted ongoing federal oversight and the establishment of a compliance monitor to periodically review and report the medical care of the inmates.