Inmates have taken guards hostage at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in a Smyrna, Delaware prison, putting all of the other state prisons on lockdown as police swarmed the facility.
In a brief statement, the Department of Correction said that DOC Response Teams and Delaware State Police were on the scene responding to a hostage situation. The statement did not say who was taken hostage or how many hostages there were
Geoffrey Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, said he was told by the Department of Correction commissioner that prison guards had been taken hostage at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. According to WBOC, Klopp said he had been told by the DOC commissioner that “three to five correctional officers have been taken hostage and the inmates have control of the building.”
The DOC said in a statement to CBS News they are responding along with state police to a hostage situation. The statement did not elaborate on who had been taken hostage or how many hostages were reported.
A DOC spokeswoman said only that an emergency situation was reported at the Smyrna prison late Wednesday morning. The facility was placed on lockdown, as were all prisons in the state per DOC policy. Spokeswoman Jayme Gravell provided few details but described the situation as an isolated incident, adding that there was no threat to the public.
Police were originally called to the correctional center on Paddock Road just before 11:00 A.M. EST Wednesday for a smoke condition in the building.
According to the DOC’s website, the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is Delaware’s largest correctional facility for men, housing approximately 2,500 inmates. It houses minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates, and also houses Kent County detainees awaiting trial. It is also the site of the state’s death row. The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center opened in 1971.
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