Emails: Delaware Correctional Officers Unhappy With Vaughn Manag - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Emails: Delaware Correctional Officers Unhappy With Vaughn Management

Posted: Updated:
The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC) The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. -- In the weeks following a hostage situation at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in which a correctional officer died, many COs expressed their worries and frustration with safety and security at the prison to the facility's acting warden.

Copies of the internal emails, obtained by WBOC, showed a number of rank-and-file correctional officers voicing concerns in light of a message from Deputy Warden Phil Parker, who is currently the acting warden at Vaughn, informing staff that inmates would soon be allowed to have recreational time outdoors. The message came roughly a month after the Feb. 1 hostage situation that saw the death of Correctional Officer Steven Floyd.

According to one email written more than a month ago, Parker wrote more than a month ago inmates must be allowed to go outdoors for recreation and necessary security precautions would need to be undertaken by staff.

"By now it should be apparent to everyone that the offenders are getting restless. Not to mention, the weather has been very good of late," he said.

Emails sent by correctional officers, apparently in response to Parker's message, showed COs voicing unhappiness over the decision and worries about safety and security. Some messages included officers accusing higher-ups of supporting inmates more consistently than rank-and-file correctional officers.

"Admin sits back in their cushy chairs far away from the scenes while we put our lives on the line every day," wrote one officer.

"Thirty inmates can demonstrate in a chow hall and be appeased by lieutenants, yet our concerns about safety and security go unheard," wrote another, referencing an alleged dry run by inmates to test prison security procedures that the correctional officers' union claims occurred in the weeks before the hostage situation.

Geoff Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, declined an on-camera interview about the emails or the issues raised in the messages but acknowledged many COs are worried about conditions at Vaughn.

Dover Attorney Stephen Hampton, who is currently working on a possible class action lawsuit on behalf of Vaughn inmates alleging mistreatment following the hostage situation, said he could sympathize with worries about safety from the correctional officers but did not think it should prevent certain privileges from returning to inmates.

"I don't think that long-term, not letting these people out or allowing these people any recreation is going to help the situation or make the correctional officers any safer," he said.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Eden Man Arrested for Carjacking, Kidnapping and Marijuana

    Eden Man Arrested for Carjacking, Kidnapping and Marijuana

    Friday, August 18 2017 10:38 PM EDT2017-08-19 02:38:34 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 10:38 PM EDT2017-08-19 02:38:34 GMT
    Raymond MathisRaymond Mathis
    EDEN, Md.- An Eden man was arrested on Friday morning after he tried to sell marijuana to two people, then stole the people's car with them inside, according to Maryland State Police. MSP said 28-year-old Raymond Warren Mathis went to the Eden ShellMore
    An Eden man was arrested on Friday morning after he tried to sell marijuana to two people, then stole the people's car with them inside, according to Maryland State Police.More
  • New Power Plant for PRMC

    New Power Plant for PRMC

    08/18/2017 21:17:00 -04:002017-08-19 01:17:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 9:17 PM EDT2017-08-19 01:17:49 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md.- Governor Larry Hogan was in Salisbury on Friday to help announce a new power plant for Peninsula Regional Medical Center. PRMC said they received a Combined Heat and Power grant from the Maryland Energy Administration that willMore
    Governor Larry Hogan was in Salisbury on Friday to help announce a new power plant for Peninsula Regional Medical Center.More
  • Arrests Made in Camden-Wyoming Burglary

    Arrests Made in Camden-Wyoming Burglary

    Friday, August 18 2017 8:30 PM EDT2017-08-19 00:30:32 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 8:30 PM EDT2017-08-19 00:30:32 GMT
    Delaware State Police have made two arrests following a home burglary east of Camden-Wyoming.More
    Delaware State Police have made two arrests following a home burglary east of Camden-Wyoming.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Arrests Made in Camden-Wyoming Burglary

    Arrests Made in Camden-Wyoming Burglary

    Friday, August 18 2017 8:30 PM EDT2017-08-19 00:30:32 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 8:30 PM EDT2017-08-19 00:30:32 GMT
    Delaware State Police have made two arrests following a home burglary east of Camden-Wyoming.More
    Delaware State Police have made two arrests following a home burglary east of Camden-Wyoming.More
  • Salisbury City Councilwoman Charged with Assault

    Salisbury City Councilwoman Charged with Assault

    Friday, August 18 2017 6:24 PM EDT2017-08-18 22:24:19 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 6:24 PM EDT2017-08-18 22:24:19 GMT
    Salisbury City Councilwoman April Jackson has been charged with assault following an alleged fight at Billy Gene Jackson Park last weekend.More
    Salisbury City Councilwoman April Jackson has been charged with assault following an alleged fight at Billy Gene Jackson Park last weekend.More
  • Dover Man Goes to Prison on Child Sex Charges

    Dover Man Sentenced for Child Sex Charges

    08/18/2017 15:16:00 -04:002017-08-18 19:16:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 3:22 PM EDT2017-08-18 19:22:31 GMT
    DOVER, Del.- A Dover man has been sentenced for sexually abusing a child who was in his care.Micah Smith, 41, was convicted by a jury in May of continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust, authority or sMore
    A Dover, Del. man has been sentenced to a decade behind bars for sexually abusing a child who was in his care.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices