Reading such nonsense is enough to make one puke. I sent this to my list of about 300 reporters:
Hi there, 11/10/18
I just read a front page story where Commissioner Phelps says that Delaware D O C is operating just fine. Hogwash! As a Delaware reporter, you are being played for a fool. So are reporters nationwide! Phelps was the Warden when I was there, and he was a big part of the problem! You think he is suddenly going to do a 180 and tell you the truth?! I heard them say a thousand times: “we stick together”!
YOU should read: Culture of Cover Up – Prison Abuse = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/culture-cover-prison-abuse/
The story about understaffing is also nonsense. Overtime pay is used to reward the guards who commit crimes and those who do not report them to authorities or to the press. New recruits quit in droves when they see all of the crime, other wrongdoing, and cover-up committed by C Os. Not only have I seen all of this, but two guards with whom I am in touch regularly tell me so.
Put a reporter in there undercover, and see for yourselves. Anywhere in Delaware D O C, for 4 to 6 weeks, and YOU will see. Take a trip to SCI, the hotbed for cruelty toward inmates. Be fooled no more.
Ken Abraham, Founder, Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, (CCJ), former Deputy Attorney General, Dover, DE , 302-423-4067
Excerpts from the Article:On the morning Perry Phelps was sworn in as commissioner of Delaware’s prisons, the state Department of Correction experienced what many describe as the worst day in its history. Now, more than a year and a half after the 18-hour prison riot that ended in the death of a correctional officer, the state prison system remains so woefully understaffed that 330 inmates will be shipped to neighboring Pennsylvania facilities.
Also, drones flying over the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna possibly dropped contraband inside prison walls, triggering lockdowns.
And a lawsuit has been filed against the DOC alleging abuse and torture at the hands of correctional officers with the approval of state officials.
Through all that, Phelps said the Delaware prison system is completing its mission to protect public safety and rehabilitate offenders.
“But we don’t want to push it to the limit where that becomes in jeopardy,” Phelps said outside the courtroom Friday where three inmates are standing trial on murder and riot charges as part of the Feb. 1, 2017, uprising.
He said post-traumatic stress from the riot has prompted many retirements and continues to be a problem for prison staff, one that the prison system is trying to address through better pay and recruitment efforts. Phelps, along with members of the DOC’s upper echelon, have attended much of the trial at the New Castle County Courthouse, where the jury and the public have been offered a better glimpse into the 18-hour siege.
Lt. Steven Floyd was killed during the riot while two others were badly beaten, and a counselor was held captive for the entirety of the siege.
Problems continue to the plague the DOC. Phelps, a long-serving employee of the Delaware Department of Correction, said he and his team are actively working to address them.
Though the transfer of 330 inmates to Pennsylvania correctional facilities isn’t ideal for the state, Phelps said it is one way Delaware is able to combat its largely understaffed prisons.
The state announced the transfer from the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center this week – which will cost $40,000 per day – which Phelps hopes will put a severe dent in the large overtime costs.
Between retirements and recruiting difficulties, the DOC is forced to rely on overtime to adequately staff the prison, which has been cited by correctional officers and inmates as one of the causes of the uprising. When the prisons aren’t fully staffed, programming for inmates and visitations are often the first items to be suspended.
“We have a lot of folks who are dealing with some challenges” in the wake of the riot, Phelps said. “And double shifts and forced overtime, that doesn’t help, and it doesn’t help the safety and security of the facility.”
With increased recruiting efforts – which include sending two recruiting officers to other states in search of correctional officers – Phelps hopes the two-year contract (with three one-year extension options) will give the DOC the time it needs to prepare for the return of these inmates.
Prisons have long been criticized for moving inmates to locations that make it difficult for them to see family and friends. The transfer announcement has prompted this same concern locally.
There were no working cameras inside Building C when the siege took place, which meant what happened inside the prison wasn’t captured on surveillance footage.
Stephen Hampton, a Dover attorney, filed a class-action lawsuit last week on behalf of the men house inside Building C during the takeover. The suit argues that inmates were beaten and tortured both by law enforcement during the recovery of Building C and in the weeks and months after the riot.
In the lawsuit, inmates describe ongoing assaults, shakedowns and harassment at the hands of correctional officers. Many say conditions have only worsened since the riot.
“They’ve been beaten and tortured and mistreated horribly since then,” Hampton said. Recently, reports of these assaults have worsened, according to Hampton.
“It’s unfortunate because correctional officers would like better working conditions and would like to be treated well, but in the same way that inmates acting out isn’t going to get them what they want, correctional officers acting out isn’t going to get them what they want either,” the lawyer said.
“If they want a reasonable place to work, they can’t go around beating these guys and mistreating them.”
A 49-year-old inmate, Luis Cabrera, died Thursday morning at Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington. Cabrera was housed in Building C during the uprising and was considered a potential witness to the riot.
Prison officials did not say how he died, other than that it occurred in the infirmary and that no foul play was suspected.