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DOC reports fifth death this year at state prison in Springfield

A photo of a tall fence against a blue sky.
Peter Hirschfeld
Vermont Public File
The Department of Corrections says that Dan Griswold, 67, was found unresponsive in his cell on Tuesday morning. He was pronounced dead shortly after emergency medical services arrived. Griswold is the fifth person to die this year at Southern State Correctional Facility. There have been seven deaths across the state's prison system in 2022.

A 67-year old man died Tuesday morning at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, according to the Department of Corrections. It’s the fifth death at the prison this year.

DOC, in a press release, said Dan Griswold of Rutland was found unresponsive in his cell. Prison staff tried to revive him and called for emergency medical services, who pronounced Griswold dead shortly after they arrived. Griswold was housed in a general population unit when he died, DOC said.

More from Vermont Public: 71-year-old man dies at state prison in Springfield

State police are investigating the incident and say that a preliminary review indicates the death is not suspicious. The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. DOC and the Defender General’s Office will conduct separate reviews, a standard procedure when someone dies in a correctional facility.

Griswold, who’s been incarcerated since 1998, was serving 40-years to life for aggravated sexual assault. His minimum release date was December 2025, according to state police

Griswold is the seventh person to die in a state prison this year and the fifth death at Southern State Correctional Facility. There’s been one suicide death at the facility and three people have died after experiencing medical issues or being hospitalized.

More from Vermont Edition: Corrections Commissioner Nicholas Deml on the challenges facing Vermont's prisons

Southern State Correctional Facility is more equipped to handle DOC’s older population and those with higher medical needs, according to a DOC spokesperson.

There other two deaths occurred at the Newport and St. Johnsbury prisons. Michael Cornell died from a drug overdose at Northern State Correctional Facility and Dustin Dunkling died by suicide at Northeast Correctional Complex.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Liam Elder-Connors @lseconnors

Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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