Sound Off Delaware: Prison abuse

This is your public forum. We welcome your opinions, which can be emailed to or posted online under the stories at Dover attorney Stephen Hampton on Wednesday accused the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) of negligent behavior that he believes led to the deaths of two inmates this month. In October, Mr. Hampton […]

Letter to the Editor: Lawsuit shines light on Del. prison abuses

A recent headline suggested that the class action lawsuit recently filed by Dover attorney, Stephen Hampton, added “complexity” to the ongoing criminal trials of several inmates concerning the death of corrections employee, Steven Floyd. We write to explain that this lawsuit, a massive case detailing many outrageous abuses against more than 100 inmates, seeking to […]

Letter to the Editor: Wrong move in sending Delaware inmates to Pennsylvania

Delaware has begun sending 330 inmates to Pennsylvania in an attempt to reduce the amount of over-time correctional officer’s work. This decision comes after the state spent more than $30 million in last year’s budget on overtime at the prisons. To reduce the overtime and make a safe environment at the prisons, the state would […]

State delaying contract talks, probation/parole officers claim

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DOVER — The probation and parole officers’ union says state officials are dragging their feet in negotiating salary increases for the 300 or so officers, creating a “very toxic atmosphere.” Todd Mumford, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 10, said the union has been working to gain better pay for its members for […]

Inmate, potential witness in prison riot trial, found dead

WILMINGTON — Luis Cabrera, a 49-year-old inmate housed at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, was pronounced dead yesterday morning, said the Department of Correction. According to court documents, Cabrera was both a potential witness in the ongoing criminal trial stemming from the deadly riot at Vaughn prison near Smyrna last year and […]

DOC to move 330 inmates to Pennsylvania prisons

DOVER — Delaware will move up to 330 inmates to Pennsylvania prisons over the next several months in an effort to reduce the demand for overtime hours on its stressed correctional officer population, the Delaware Department of Correction announced on Wednesday. According to DOC administration, they’ve entered into a two-year agreement with Pennsylvania Department of […]

Inmates’ civil lawsuit adds complexity to Vaughn prison riot trial

WILMINGTON — The ongoing criminal trial to decide the fate of 18 inmates charged in connection with the 2017 Vaughn prison riot is complicated on its own. But, a new layer of complexity was added Wednesday when Dover attorney Stephen Hampton filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of more than 100 inmates housed […]

More inmate witnesses testify about prison riot defendants’ actions

WILMINGTON — Apparent contradictory statements were part of the testimony Friday as the Vaughn prison insurrection murder trial concluded its second week. Two inmates called by the prosecution identified defendants Jarreau Ayers and Dwayne Staats and their alleged actions during a revolt on Feb. 1-2, 2017, that left Correctional Officer Lt. Steven Floyd dead at […]

Department of Correction seeking offender after work departure

DOVER — A 28-year-old Little Creek resident was sought Wednesday after failing to return to Morris Community Correctional Center from an approved work pass, Delaware Department of Correction spokesperson Jamie Young said. Benjamin Whitaker’s whereabouts were unknown and unauthorized, the DOC said, and a warrant for escape after conviction was issued. His original offense was […]

Vaughn inmates file lawsuit against state officials

WILMINGTON — As trial continued for three inmates charged with murder after an insurrection at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna last year nearly 120 more prisoners are part of a lawsuit filed Wednesday against state officials alleging “inhumane conditions” within the facility. For many years prior to the takeover on Feb. 1, 2017, […]