Too Little Staff, Too Many Rules, Say Delaware Correctional Officers

Feb 24, 2017

Takeover of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center
Credit YouTube

During a Delaware Senate panel hearing correctional officers told lawmakers that staff were so outnumbered many of the inmates have unprecedented power.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the officers said this power contributed to the 18 hour hostage standoff that resulted in the death of Officer Steve Floyd.

Officer Aaron Forkum described the situation as “a three ring circus” at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center where the uprising took place.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that some of the correctional officers told the paper that the uprising was planned and that the guards were beaten extensively.

Some of the officers complained of chaos as the rules and policies constantly change pointing to a settlement between the Department of Correction and the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware and the Community Legal Aid Society.

State Senator Robert Marshall, chair of the Labor Committee, said he held the hearing to give former and current correctional officers a place to describe conditions in the prison outside the criminal investigation.