Delaware Department of Correction

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Government agency heads are asking Markell administration budget officials for additional funding in the next fiscal year.

Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr. told state budget office officials on Monday that the judicial branch would like about $3 million in additional funding in fiscal 2016 on top of the $95 million in general funds that the court system received this year. Strine says more than 80 percent additional funding would to to employee costs and technology infrastructure.

Delaware Department of Correction

Lakisha Short is a transgender who is serving a 55 year sentence in Delaware state prison.

Now, the American Civil Liberties Union is helping her get her name changed to Kai – a request that has been denied by two courts.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that court documents says the 34-year old Short self-identifies as a male and wants to be known by the more masculine name of Kai as a first step.

Delaware state law only allows a name change for a sincerely held religious belief not for gender identification.

Department of Correction website

There are new claims of abuse within the Delaware Department of Corrections.

Back in April television station 47 ABC reported on the death of an inmate at Sussex Correctional Institution.

In May a civil lawsuit was filed accusing Dr. Lawrence McDonald of sexually assault at least nine patients in prison.

Now, the TV station reports that Josh Lewis, a former inmate at the facility, is accusing the doctor of fondling him.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed for a court order to enforce reforms in Delaware prisons claiming the Department of Corrections has failed to follow through on its promises to protect female prisoners from sexual assault.

The legal action comes five years after a female prisoner reported being raped by a prison guard.

That resulted in a year and a-half of civil lawsuits brought with the help of the ACLU which resulted in a settlement.

The agreement required the Corrections Department to carry out a series of reforms at the Baylor Women’s Institution.

An investigation by federal officials has been called for by the Delaware Republican State Committee Chair John Sigler into a Sussex County prisoner program that allows employers to use inmates as day laborers.

He wants to know if there have been any civil rights violations among other offenses.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware Department of Correction abruptly closed down the program in June after it could not get documentation about the inmates leaving the Sussex Work Release Center since 1989.

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — State corrections officials say they are investigating a program that allows offenders held at the Sussex Work Release Center to work as day laborers.

The Delaware Department of Correction says the Georgetown facility has virtually no documentation of the day-labor program over the past 23 years.


          Women inmates at a work-release center near New Castle may have a more difficult time getting to their jobs. The Delaware Transit Corporation wants to cut the number of trips from the DART First State bus system from 12 to 8 a day because of low ridership. 

            That would mean a five hour midday gap with no buses.

            The state Department of Correction , the Delaware Commission for Women and the inmates themselves are urging DART not to cut the service.