Delaware prison officials say one corrections employee who was taken hostage is dead and a second is alert and talking after authorities entered a building at the state’s largest prison, the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, where inmates had taken staff members hostage, reports the Associated Press. The prison is in Smyrna, 15 miles north of the state capital of Dover. Inmates took four corrections department workers hostage yesterday, prompting a lockdown of all Delaware prisons. The inmates released one staffer in the afternoon and another last night.
Inmates demanded prison reforms and better living conditions, reports the Wilmington News Journal. Demands relayed to the newspaper by phone from people who said their relatives were being held hostage included “improper sentencing orders. Status sheets being wrong. Oppression towards the inmates.” A voice on one call relating inmate demands said, “We’re trying to explain the reasons for doing what we’re doing. Donald Trump. Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now. We know the institution is going to change for the worse. We got demands that you need to pay attention to, that you need to listen to and you need to let them know. Education, we want education first and foremost. We want a rehabilitation program that works for everybody. We want the money to be allocated so we can know exactly what is going on in the prison, the budget.” Delaware has a new prison director, Perry Phelps, who was confirmed two weeks ago.