Ken’s Comments:
Two words can explain this: NO ACCOUNTABILITY! 


Let me remind you that not only do I get calls from families of abused inmates daily – abused here and nationwide – I have SEEN what goes on in our prisons!

Of course, this is not the solution, but this is NO SURPRISE  to me! After decades of abuse, truly atrocious “medical care”, and everyone – the authorities – turning a blind eye to the situation, what the hell do you expect?!

The complaints about “sloppiness” are as valid as those about the very serious abuses. Some of the incorrect documents affect inmates’ release dates.  I tell folks every week who send me information I need to represent them well: “That is a document from the Court; do not send me any information from the prison BECAUSE  I have seen hundreds of documents with serious errors; you cannot rely on anything they put out”. Like the abuse, prison officials go on and on with the sloppiness and the abuse because they have been  getting away with it for years with NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

See related articles on prison abuse. Earlier ACTION – prosecution – of absolutely out of control abusive guards no doubt would have prevented this!!  More comments in due course!


Having been asked by a newspaper publisher for a statement on the hostage situation and the death of a guard at Delaware D O C, here it is.

Uprising at Delaware D O C – 2/4/17 Op Ed Submission:
The death of Officer Floyd is a tragedy, whether or not he was one of the abusive guards who is a disgrace to the hundreds who go in there and try to do their jobs properly ( and I hear from multiple sources that he was ). However, it does not surprise me. Having SEEN what goes on in our prisons, as I posted recently on our website, two words can account for most of the prison problems: NO ACCOUNTABILITY. Unless and until guards and others, like medical staffers, who commit crimes from property theft, serious neglect of medical problems, to filing false reports, to outright uncalled for brutal beatings of inmates, are PROSECUTED, we will see the same problems.

See our website ( , on “Prison Abuse” articles for much more. What is needed is not some “Commission or Task Force”, and not a federal investigation as a colleague suggested. With such an investigation : 1. The criminals in uniform will know that it is coming, and 2. the feds largely will talk to and believe the prison staff, who routinely lie like hell.

The corruption is so entrenched that the only effective remedy is prosecution. We need one or two FBI agents inside the prison under cover, where they will see innumerable crimes with their own eyes, and emerge with many indictments, as they did in L A a couple of years ago!

Much of what comes out of the prison officials’ mouths to the press is total BS, propaganda in the true sense of the word, as it was when they hailed the “improvements” in medical care. I was in prison at the time, read every word of the “Consent Agreement” between D O C and the D O J, and saw it violated every day. When D O C changed companies providing health care, the new company kept virtually all of the employees of the old one, accustomed to doing the same wrongs they had done before with impunity. So they just kept doing the sloppiness, the lies, and the errors or neglect of the past!

Having seen what the truth is inside, and getting calls and emails every day from prisoners, their friends and families, and being in touch with three currently employed prison guards, I know that virtually nothing has changed since I left. As I just explained to someone critical of Robert Coupe: “Coupe DID solve some problems I emailed him about, but he had a MOUNTAIN to move … his staff would lie lie lie to him and anyone else, and generally people don’t give a sh^#!. What we need is undercover FBI inside.”

Ken Abraham, former Deputy Attorney General and founder of Citizens for Criminal Justice, Dover, DE 302-423-4067.



Excerpts from the Article:



Prisoners at a maximum security correctional facility in Delaware have taken over a building and are holding multiple guards hostage, officials say. The inmates overwhelmed correctional officers Wednesday morning at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, state police said.

Four guards were taken hostage, and two have since been released, authorities said. Officials originally said five officers were being held, but later said it was only four. The facility holds about 2,500 inmates, all males, including those on death row.

In calls to the Wilmington News-Journal by an inmate and a woman who said her son was being hostage, prisoners said they took the guards hostage to demand better conditions. At least one guard was injured, but suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He has been released, state police say.

Delaware State Police and the FBI were assisting the Department of Corrections. Officials have given little information about what is happening. All prisons in Delaware have been locked down as a precaution, per state policy.

This story is breaking and will be updated as more information is made available. Here’s what we know so far:

1. Four Officers Were Taken Hostage When the Inmates Took Control of a Building & At Least 1 Was Wounded


State officials have released few details about the incident, but called it “isolated” and said there is no threat to the public.

“The inmates have taken over a building,” state Rep. William Carson, a member of the Delaware House Corrections Committee, told the Wilmington News Journal. Firefighters from the Citizens’ Hose Company responded to the prison at 1181 Paddock Road about 11 a.m., the Delaware State News reports.

An inmate called the Wilmington News-Journal about 1 p.m. Wednesday to relay the prisoners’ demands. He called the incident a “rebellion,” the newspaper reports.
The inmate, who didn’t give his name, called through his fiance. She said her husband was not one of the hostage takers, and was being held hostage himself. “I’m just doing what I’m being told to. I’m just trying to help, ma’am. They just need somebody to hear their demands,” he told the reporter who answered the call.

The caller said the hostage takers want prison reform and better conditions, but the News-Journal reported the demands weren’t clear.

“Improper sentencing orders. Status sheets being wrong. Oppression towards the inmates,” the man said.

A second call was made later Wednesday to the News-Journal by a woman who said her son was being held hostage:

We’re trying to explain the reasons is for doing what we’re doing. Donald Trump. Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now. We know that the institution is going to change for the worse. We know the institution is going to change for the worse. We got demands that you need to pay attention to, that you need to listen to and you need to let them know. Education, we want education first and foremost. We want a rehabilitation program that works for everybody. We want the money to be allocated so we can know exactly what is going on in the prison, the budget.


Dozens of police officers could be seen outside the prison, gathering in formations, while ambulances stood by. Police helicopters were circling above.


Dan Dunne, who was the national spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons in 1991 during a hostage crisis at a prison in Talladega, Alabama, told the News-Journal the release of information is the biggest challenge for prison officials. He told the newspaper the prisoners inside can hear information through TVs, radios and phones.

Dunne said it’s important for police and hostage negotiators to know what the hostage takers want, and what motivated them to take hostages. He said their demands should be “respected and understood in order to further interact with him.”

During the 10-day 1991 situation, which involved Cuban inmates who were protesting their deportation, Dunne said they used a Miami Herald reporter to help learn the prisoners’ demands.

“At least there is information to discuss,” he said of the phone calls made to The News Journal. “The doors closed with nothing from the hostages can be more dangerous.”

The Blood Bank of Delaware put out a call for donations of type O blood, but said it was only as a precaution, the Wilmington News-Journal reports.

“A hospital in that area contacted us and asked us to boost their supply,” Rick Thomas, the blood bank’s vice president of blood services, told the newspaper. “They are expecting patients to be brought in.”

The guard hospitalized after being released from the prison by the inmates was beaten, WPVI-TV reports.

The 35-year-old guard was struck numerous times with fists and a mop wringer, the news station reports. He was reported to be awake and alert.

The Vaughn Correctional Center was the site of another hostage situation in 2004, when a female counselor was taken hostage after being raped, The Associated Press reports. Scott Miller, 45, was later killed by a sharpshooter, ending the standoff after nearly seven hours.

The prison opened in 1971. A large addition was completed in 1996.




Read the Whole Story:

Delaware Prison Riot & Hostage Situation: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know