The Latest: Governor: Understaffing, overtime still problems

July 17, 2018
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FILE - In a Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del., remains on lockdown following a disturbance. A building at Delaware's maximum-security prison that was the site of a deadly inmate riot and hostage-taking last year will be torn down, officials said Monday, July 16, 2018. Demolition of the C Building at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is expected to begin this fall, Department of Correction officials said in a news release. The building has been vacant since February 2017, when inmates rioted, taking three staffers hostage and killing correctional officer Steven Floyd. (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP, File)

HOCKESSIN, Del. (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of a deadly riot at a Delaware prison (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

While Delaware officials have made progress on many of the recommendations in a final report on a deadly inmate riot last year, Gov. John Carney says understaffing and mandatory overtime remain a problem.

Carney spoke Tuesday at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna Tuesday as the report was released. He says, “Mandatory overtime is a big issue and a big problem. It creates fatigue among our officers and makes their job more difficult to do.”

Carney says his administration is committed to the reforms that are needed. But he says it will be a “continuous effort long into the future.”

Carney refused to provide details about proposed interim solution to address the overtime problem. Officials say they expect to announce details later this year.


10 a.m.

Delaware officials are touting progress in prison reform efforts following a deadly inmate riot last year but say reducing mandatory overtime for correctional officers at the state’s understaffed maximum-security prison remains a challenge.

Officials released a final report Tuesday updating progress in responding to 41 recommendations contained in an independent review ordered by Democratic Gov. John Carney after the February 2017 uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.

Correctional officer Steven Floyd was killed during the riot, and three other staffers were taken hostage.

Officials say the Department of Correction has “measurably addressed” 40 of the recommendations, but that reducing overtime will require continued focus and substantive action.

Meanwhile, officials are seeking interim solutions to reduce the number of overtime shifts required to operate the prison safely.


12:10 a.m.

A state corrections counselor who was taken hostage during a deadly riot at Delaware’s maximum-security prison says prison officials are to blame.

Sixty-eight-year-old Patricia May says officials saw signs of trouble brewing but ignored them. She says that less than an hour before the February 2017 riot broke out, she had expressed fears to a colleague that she might be killed inside the prison.

May recounted her experience to The Associated Press on Friday in her first public interview about the ordeal.

The retired counselor says inmates are sorely in need of better conditions, counseling and programs, and that officials need to take suggested reforms seriously.

On Tuesday, Gov. John Carney and corrections officials will release a final report on efforts to implement 41 recommendations from an independent review team.