Hostage Situation Sheds Light on Previous Violence at Vaughn Cor - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Hostage Situation Sheds Light on Previous Violence at Vaughn Correctional Center

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James T. Vaughn Correctional Facility tower in July of 2004. James T. Vaughn Correctional Facility tower in July of 2004.

SMYRNA, Del. - Almost 13 years ago, July 12, 2004, an inmate in Smyrna held a counselor hostage for nearly seven hours before meeting his demise.

The hostage situation that took place at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Tuesday and Wednesday was a painful reminder of the events from 2004.  It was after the hostage situation in July of 2004 that Delaware officials promised to correct the problems within the prison system to avoid another violent event.  Thursday, WBOC asked those officials how the violence happened again.

"What I would say is what our governor finished his statements with; is that prisons are very dangerous," said Robert Coupe, the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security.  "Our officers train.  Our officers work together, they are very professional.  But, every day is dangerous."

The danger in July of 2004 came in the form of Scott A. Miller, a convicted serial rapist serving a several hundred year term.  Miller took counselor Cassandra Arnold hostage, holding her at knife point and sexually assaulting her.  After nearly seven hours, Miller was shot by a sniper, ending the ordeal.

Following the incident, Arnold spoke out about the problems in the state prison system.

"You never expect anything to happen to you," Arnold told WBOC in February, 2005.  And then you're at work and it happens.  Like, I am afraid to go to work."

Arnold said in 2005 that she hoped the recommendations made in a report following her attack would be taken seriously so something like her attack would never happen again.

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