New program helps Delaware inmates attain GED

SMYRNA — Nearly all offenders are released from prison at some point in their lives. Just under 30 percent of the maximum security inmates have a high school diploma. That doesn’t bode well for sustained life on the outside. Without the tools to earn an honest living, ex-convicts may soon re-offend and rejoin the prison […]

Delaware Department of Correction announces promotions

DOVER — Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis announced Tuesday the promotion of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Warden Dana Metzger to statewide responsibilities as warden of the Department’s Special Operations Group. Also, Commissioner DeMatteis named Sussex Correctional Institution Warden Robert May to lead JTVCC. Mr. May, a 27-year DOC veteran, is DOC’s most […]

Inmates show off their culinary skills: Tasty treats top well-known chef in bakeoff

SMYRNA — Well-known chef Robbie Jester wants a rematch. His cooking foes are probably fine with that. Good-natured competition was the theme inside James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Thursday morning. An inmate-concocted chocolate meringue cake bested Mr. Jester’s cinnamon roll with pumpkin butter and salted caramel in a morning bakeoff. Warden Dana Metzger was among […]

DOC touts reform efforts, staffing plans in budget hearing

DOVER — The Delaware Department of Correction hopes to cut its correctional officer vacancies to about 40 by the end of next year, the lowest level in at least a decade. Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis, who was confirmed to the post in June, offered an overview of the agency Thursday in its preliminary budget hearing. […]

Letter to the Editor: Program would reduce crime

Educating inmates, all studies show, is the best way to reduce crime! This program – NewBoCo – in the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa should be in every prison in every state. NewBoCo will receive a $175,000 grant — and possibly more — from Google Impact Challenge Iowa to provide computer coding […]

Commentary: Good intentions in recidivism or just padding?

As a prison inmate, I recently completed a program that was just plain common sense. We talked about our fears, our goals and the present situations that led us to relapse and recidivism. On the first day of class the counselor greeted each client with a cheerful “good morning.” She then went on to explain […]

Offender fails to return, sought

DOVER — A 51-year-old Dover man was sought after failing to return to Morris Community Correctional Center from an approved pass to the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, authorities said. The whereabouts of Johnny Lopez were unknown and authorized, Delaware Department of Correction spokeswoman Kate Weber said. A warrant for escape after conviction was issued. […]

Letter to the Editor: Modify the Prison Litigation Reform Act

While in prison, helping so many inmates file lawsuits to challenge the cruelty of their conditions of confinement, the rampant abuse, and the extreme medical neglect, I was struck by how awful — what an obstruction to justice — the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) was! It creates unnecessary roadblocks, is loaded with technical requirements […]

Late DOC inmate’s family files lawsuit claiming abuse

DOVER — The family of an inmate who died after being found hanging two years ago has filed a lawsuit citing the alleged disregard of mental health, abuse and safety concerns during a two-year period. Darius Sarro was supposedly subjected to constant “terror and torture” before dying while being held at Morris Community Corrections Center […]

DOC shuffles prison health care leadership

DOVER — The Department of Correction announced a change in leadership for its health care section on Tuesday. Marc Richman, who has spent the past four years as chief of the Bureau of Correctional Healthcare Service, “will depart the agency to pursue opportunities consistent with his career-long interest in promoting best practices in healthcare,” according […]