Some See More Action Needed After Vaughn Report - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Some See More Action Needed After Vaughn Report

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The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC) The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. -- A report ordered by Gov. John Carney on the causes behind the deadly inmate uprising in February at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna was released publicly on Friday, though some believe more direct actions need to be taken by state and prison leaders.

The report pointed to a number of issues at Vaughn like distrust between Vaughn administrators and correctional officers who were critically understaffed and overworked. The review also pointed to a need to restore trust with inmates.

The independent review said Correctional Officer Steven Floyd asked his superiors on Jan. 20 to move a number of inmates out of Building C, where Floyd was ultimately killed during the hostage situation at Vaughn, but review authors did not believe the request had been fulfilled. 

"We can't make the definite conclusion but his death may have been avoided," said Former U.S. Attorney Charlie Oberly, a co-author of the study.

But when it comes to restoring trust for inmates, Dover Attorney Stephen Hampton said the Department of Correction and Vaughn leaders had not done anything to curb alleged physical abuse from correctional officers during the retaking of Building C and the weeks following the riot.

"You didn't even investigate it, let alone do anything about it. So we should trust you now? Why would you trust them now?" he said.

Correctional Officers Association of Delaware President Geoff Klopp said many COs remain disappointed in the lack of charges in Floyd's death, seven months after the riot started.

Additionally, Klopp said he does not believe enough has been done to improve conditions in Vaughn, despite efforts by the state to install cameras, purchase radios, and hire additional correctional officers.

"We're seven, going on eight months working on this situation and we've made minor changes," he said.

Governor Carney said Delaware is spending millions more on equipment like cameras and radios at Vaughn and is hiking COs' salaries to help address security and understaffing.

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