Carney delays due date of prison riot report

John Carney

DOVER — Gov. John Carney said Friday he has extended the due date for the final report of the investigation into the deadly inmate uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

The report, produced by former Judge William Chapman Jr. and former U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly III, was scheduled to be sent to the governor Aug. 15, but will now be completed Aug. 31.

It will be publicly released the next day and the governor will hold a news conference to detail the findings.

The extension, according to the governor’s office, will enable the review team to more fully weigh testimony from both inmates and correctional officers as well as a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union about inmate grievances.

On Feb. 1, inmates in Vaughn took control of the facility’s Building C, leading to a 19-hour siege and the death of correctional officer Steven Floyd.

“I look forward to receiving the final report of the Independent Review later this month, and I remain committed to making the necessary, long-term changes to help us improve conditions inside James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and across our correctional system,” Gov. Carney said in a statement.

“Working with members of the General Assembly, we have already made important changes, but there is more work to do,” he continued. “Thank you to the independent review team for their continued work on this important issue.”

The Delaware Department of Justice said this week it anticipates presenting an indictment to a grand jury in New Castle County within 90 days.

“Delaware Department of Justice prosecutors, together with Delaware State Police investigators, continue to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd and the assaults committed upon other correctional staff,” spokesman Carl Kanefsky said in a statement.

“This investigation presents unique challenges, not the least of which is the fact that many witnesses are themselves incarcerated inmates. On behalf of Lt. Floyd and his colleagues, a thorough, complete, and professional investigation is of paramount importance so those responsible for these crimes may be held accountable.”

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.