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Delaware Prison: Remains Explosive & Understaffed

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - One year after a deadly inmate riot and hostage-taking, Delaware's maximum-security prison remains a potentially explosive, understaffed facility managed by overworked guards overseeing hundreds of inmates with too much idle time on their hands.

An independent review ordered by Democratic Gov. John Carney after the riot at Vaughn Correctional Center includes scores of recommendations for reforms. But officials say many of those reforms depend on adequate staffing, which remains an elusive goal.

Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps says he's encouraged by the progress officials have made, but inmates continue to complain about a lack of programs and inadequate medical care.

Meanwhile, the head of the state correctional officers' union says his members are exhausted, don't feel safe and are tired of being forced to work overtime.

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.