Deer Ridge prison inmate dies

MADRAS, Ore. - An inmate from Deer Ridge Correctional Institution near Madras died unexpectedly Monday afternoon at a local hospital, prison officials said Wednesday, adding that an investigation confirmed was a medical issue and not a crime.

As with all unanticipated deaths of state inmates, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division was contacted. An investigation concluded the death was not related to a crime, officials said.

The inmate is identified as John Derrick Stafford, 49. On Monday, Stafford was taken to an area hospital with medical issues and died at approximately 4:40 p.m. Next of kin have been notified.

Stafford entered DOC custody on March 22, 2011, on one count of burglary in the first degree out of Marion County. His earliest release date was Dec. 27, 2015.

DRCI is a minimum-custody facility in Madras that houses about 750 inmates who are within four years of release. It provides a range of correctional services and programs, including education, treatment programs, pre-release and transitional services and work opportunities.

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