Correctional officer assaulted at Sussex prison

GEORGETOWN — The Correctional Officers’ Association of Delaware (COAD) reported that an officer at Sussex Correctional Institution was assaulted on Monday afternoon.

According to a press release, the incident started when an inmate began taunting a correctional K-9 patrol dog during the inmates’ dinner meal. He was then ordered to his cell and escorted there by two officers.

Upon arrival at his cell, the inmate entered and officers instructed him to discontinue disruptive and verbally abusive behavior.

As one of the officers was speaking to him, the inmate charged and threw a punch, striking the officer on the side of the neck.

During a struggle, the officers were able to gain control of the inmate. One officer sustained an abrasion and bruising — the second was uninjured.

The inmate continued to be verbally abusive toward staff throughout the incident, also making several threats directed toward medical staff.

In reference to the recent inmate uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna that left officer Lt. Steven Floyd dead, COAD president Geoff Klopp says it’s as if nothing happened.

“Inmates continue to refuse to follow legitimate instructions from Correctional Officers,” he said. “Threats, taunts and assaults are a daily way of life in our prisons. It is as if the events of the past two weeks never occurred.”

Criticizing the Department of Corrections and Gov. John Carney’s response to the uprising, Mr. Klopp feels that not enough is being done.

“The response thus far to these horrible events has been lacking,” he said. “What will it take? Press conferences and special commissions don’t address the needs of the day. Our Officers are not safe in the prisons of our state. Period. Something must be done, now.”

Staff writer Ian Gronau can be reached at 741-8272 or

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