Prison Reform Advocates March in Dover - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Prison Reform Advocates March in Dover

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DOVER, Del. -- The Coalition for Prison Reform and Criminal Justice marched in Dover on Thursday in a demonstration participants said they hope attracts more attention to conditions for inmates in Delaware prisons.

The march started at Legislative Hall about lunchtime and began in a courtyard underneath Governor Carney's office at the statehouse. Participants urged state leaders to take stronger steps to address poor conditions and mistreatment and abuse of inmates but also pushed for pay increases for correctional officers.

March participant Enrico Stratton-Bey said he is a former inmate and a cousin of Steven Floyd, the correctional officer killed in a hostage situation at the Vaughn Correctional Center in February. He said the poor conditions for inmates in Delaware prisons were factors in the inmate uprising that saw Floyd's death.

"It doesn't start in the correctional institution, it starts where the laws are being made," he said.

The focus on conditions at prisons like Vaughn has increased since the inmate uprising. The coalition asked the federal government for an investigation into the incident.

Tillie Carello, who said she is the mother of a Vaughn inmate, said she has heard accounts of mistreatment and abuse by correctional officers from her son.

Although she hears fewer claims about inmates being beaten, Carello said conditions inside the prison are still poor and inmates have difficulty getting showers or recreational time.

"That's not much for a man and keeping a man locked up like that is cruel and inhumane," she said.

Geoff Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, said claims officers are beating or mistreating inmates are false.

"We don't mistreat inmates," he said. "Everything is documented and if there are any incidents, they're looked into."

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