Delaware Public Media

prison reform

James Morrison / Delaware Public Media

Several Department of Correction employees working at the Vaughn Correction Center in Smyrna have been suspended.

Delaware's Department of Correction has suspended nine staff members while it investigates whether a violation of department policy or procedure recently took place at Vaughn.

Licensed under Wikimedia Commons, Flickr user trconrad2001

The state Department of Justice may be moving closer to announcing charges in the fatal prison uprising at Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna last February, but they aren't imminent.

Social justice advocates are hoping a bill focused on pretrial prison reform squeaks through this legislative session. It already has House approval, and is waiting for a Senate vote.


James Morrison / Delaware Public Media

A former senior counsel to then-U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, Claire DeMatteis, is taking a lead role in helping Gov. John Carney make changes at the Department of Corrections.  

Megan Pauly / Delaware Public Media

Delaware currently has the highest rate of incarceration in the Mid-Atlantic region – and nearly double the national rate between 1978 and 2015.

And while states like New York and New Jersey have shown a dramatic decline in their prison populations since the late 1990s, Delaware’s population has remained steady. A Department of Correction annual report cites close to 23,000 people in its system as of June 30th of last year.

The ACLU of Delaware hosted a discussion on prison reform this week, featuring David Fathi, Director of the ACLU National Prison Project.  Delaware Public Media’s Megan Pauly interviewed  Fathi for The Green.

Megan Pauly / Delaware Public Media

The local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild announced Wednesday they’ve analyzed patterns in pre-uprising grievance letters from First State prisoners sent to the ACLU of Delaware since 2011.


Delaware Public Media

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem ready to give Gov. Carney a chance following his first address to the General Assembly.

Megan Pauly / Delaware Public Media

First State civil rights leaders continue to call for the U.S. Attorney General to investigate conditions at Delaware prisons.

But they are also applying pressure to Gov. Carney and other state officials.


A former Vaughn inmate is arranging a rally outside of the Smyrna correctional center Saturday morning at 11.