Perry Phelps

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state of Delaware has spent more than $370,000 defending two former governors and a half dozen current and former prison officials against a federal lawsuit filed after a deadly inmate uprising last year.

The sum was reported by Delaware's Office of Management and Budget in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Delaware State News.

Correctional officer Lt. Steven Floyd was killed and three other prison staffers were taken hostage during the February 2017 uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.

Courtesy of Joe Simon

Lt. Steven Floyd was honored at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center where he was killed during an inmate uprising around a year ago.

In the falling rain Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps described Floyd as someone who “cared about giving people a voice and for standing up for what is right.”

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he added, “Floyd stood up during times of challenge and controversy. He stood with integrity.”

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware prison officials are asking state lawmakers for more money but acknowledge that staffing remains a problem despite increased funding that was approved last year.

Gov. John Carney is asking lawmakers to boost the Department of Correction's general fund budget by $20 million next fiscal year. The bulk of that money would go toward increasing staffing and boosting pay for correctional officers, including hiring 28 more guards at the women's prison.

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - One year after a deadly inmate riot and hostage-taking, Delaware's maximum-security prison remains a potentially explosive, understaffed facility managed by overworked guards overseeing hundreds of inmates with too much idle time on their hands.

An independent review ordered by Democratic Gov. John Carney after the riot at Vaughn Correctional Center includes scores of recommendations for reforms. But officials say many of those reforms depend on adequate staffing, which remains an elusive goal.

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Top officials at the Delaware Department of Corrections told state lawmakers that the inmate uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center stemmed from long standing problems.

Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps and former Vaughn Correctional Center Warden David Pierce told the hearing that many of the issues date back to the 1970’s and 1980’s.

They added they will remain so until the underlying problems are dealt with.

Phelps told the panel that the Department of Correction was a microcosm of the community.

Department of Correction

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A longtime veteran of the Delaware Department of Correction has been named deputy commissioner of the agency.

Department Commissioner Perry Phelps announced Tuesday that Alan Grinstead has been appointed deputy commissioner effective Monday.

The deputy commissioner is a member of the executive staff, oversees various bureaus within the department and works on policy development, strategic planning and decision making.

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There was a town hall style meeting yesterday held by the Delaware correctional officers and the department’s Commissioner Perry Phelps.

It comes a month after the inmate uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in which officer Steve Floyd was killed.

WBOC reports that the media was barred from the meeting.

But the television station reports that the correctional officers’ union president Geoff Klopp said that Phelps had the support of his organization.