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17 Guards Quit, Inmate Families Worried, in Aftermath of Prison Uprising

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Inmate Hostage Crisis
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Inmate Hostage Crisis

Seventeen members of the staff at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center have quit in the wake of the inmate standoff that left one officer dead.

The Delaware Department of Corrections told the Wilmington News Journal that 8 have already quit with three leaving immediately.

Another six have asked for early retirement this year.

The department said one of those has already left.

Finally, a teacher employed by the facility is also retiring.

Geoff Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, told the News Journal that there is simply not enough staff to make people feel safe.

The Department of Correction said that it will be able to fill the vacancies with officers who have graduated from a nine week training program.

Families of Inmates Worried

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center
Credit creative commons
creative commons
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Families of inmates at a Delaware prison where one staffer was killed during a hostage situation are expressing concerns about their safety as phone calls and visits remain restricted.

A lockdown remained in place Monday at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, where correctional officer Steven Floyd was killed and three other staffers taken hostage earlier this month.

Connie Runyon says her son was among a handful of prisoners who banded together to protect a female counselor during the uprising. She believes officials are restricting inmate communications to try to keep a lid on details about the uprising.

Meanwhile, a letter mailed late last week by one inmate suggests that some prisoners have been beaten and denied medical care.

Department of Correction officials deny that any prisoners are being mistreated.

Governor John Carney

Governor-Elect John Carney (D-De)
Credit House of Representatives
House of Representatives
Governor John Carney (D-De)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware Gov. John Carney has settled on a person to lead an independent review of an uprising at the prison.

Carney was scheduled to announce his selection Tuesday at his Wilmington office.

Officials have said the review will examine the immediate and underlying causes of the inmate uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center earlier this month.

Administration officials said the review will start after the completion of a state police criminal investigation into Floyd's death, so as to not interfere with that probe. The Department of Correction also is conducting its own internal investigation.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.