Speak Out: Criminal justice reform

Readers responded to a story on the House passing criminal justice reforms this week. • If a teenager commits a crime no matter if it’s robbery or murder he/she should be treated like an adult! If research shows that the brain isn’t developed until 25 why are men/women considered adults at 21? Why are 18 […]

Commentary: Delaware must do better with its correctional system

You have to know justice before you can provide justice. In other words: “No justice, if you don’t know justice.” And, when we know better, we’ll do better. After a couple of years of observation, investigation and advocating, I have reached the conclusion that the challenges and problems in the Delaware correctional system are directly […]

DOC Commissioner Phelps to step down: Vaughn riot, lawsuits, staffing issues plagued brief tenure

DOVER — Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps announced Friday he’s stepping down as of July 15. No specific reason for the retirement was provided. “When I joined the Department of Correction, I only expected to stay for two years,” Mr. Phelps said in a statement. “I thought I would use my experience as […]

Twenty-four probation officers graduate ‘EPICS’ training

DOVER —Twenty four Probation and Parole officers graduated from the EPICS (Effective Practices in Community Supervision) training last week, according to the Delaware Department of Correction. The six-month training included attendance at monthly “booster” sessions with the submission of taped interviews with offenders prior to each session. Participants were also required to practice their skills […]

DOC contractor’s chief medical officer to resign

WILMINGTON — Christopher Moen — the chief medical officer for Connections Community Support Programs Inc. — will resign from his position as of June, said Department of Correction spokeswoman Jayme Gravell. Connections CSP is the primary medical contractor for Delaware’s prison system. Ms. Gravell noted that Dr. Moen was leaving to pursue a “new opportunity.” […]

Commentary: Let’s address recidivism realistically

Attorney General Kathy Jennings suggested that reforms in our justice system addressing current laws, stack charging and the sentencing guidelines would improve our recidivism rate. However, addressing our mass probation system would improve our recidivism more quickly and more dramatically than any other choice. In our small state of Delaware there are about 17,000 people […]

Reentry and resettlement for ex-offenders

Prison. Community Corrections. Probation. Getting ready. Going Home. Staying Home. Public Safety. Reducing Crime. These are the guideposts of Gov. John Carney’s Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission established by executive order four months ago. As chair and vice chair of the Commission, we are working with leaders in the State Departments of Correction, Education, Labor and […]

Speak Out: Life after prison in Delaware

Readers reacted to a recent commentary describing how “collateral consequences” limit or deny those leaving jail basic rights to housing, food stamps, education, voting, employment, child custody and much more. • Good letter. Should be mandatory reading for all in youth or adolescent detention. — Jeffrey Dixon • The very simple solution which doesn’t get […]

Commentary: Life after prison in Delaware has unfair consequences

With each criminal conviction, the state of Delaware matter-of-factly tells the defendants how long they will spend behind bars. Hidden from view, in the “fine-print,” is a long list of additional penalties attached to these convictions. Only upon leaving prison and while attempting to rebuild their lives, do offenders experience, first-hand, how these non-prison “collateral […]

DOC employees surveyed on trust and commitment

DOVER — In search of a test subject for his dissertation on “servant leadership,” Wilmington University doctoral candidate Rick Brewer was turned down by companies like Southwest Airlines, Chick-fil-A, Wawa and Lowes. But, after a chance meeting with Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps in July of 2017, he wound up snagging an even […]