There’s a developing incident unfolding at the Smyrna prison where officials say the prison went into lockdown shortly after 10:30 A.M.
Smyrna: Shortly after 10:30 A.M. James T. Vaughn Correctional Center was put on lock down for a reported emergency situation that occurred in the C Building. As a result of this developing emergency, all Delaware prisons have been put on lockdown which is the Department of Corrections policy when an emergency occurs at any one of the four state facilities.
Bruce Rogers, counsel for the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, told The Associated Press that inmates had taken control of one building at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. Injuries to both officers and inmates were reported, he said.
In a brief statement, the Department of Corrections said DOC Response Teams and the Delaware State police were on the scene responding to a hostage situation.
Firefighters were also called to the scene after reports of smoke and are being held on stand by.
Delaware State Police are on the scene and negotiations are under way.
Here’s raw aerial video footage of the scene at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. https://t.co/V03vcZJ3iF #vaughnlockdown
— delawareonline (@delawareonline) February 2, 2017
The last incident to happen at the facility was on July 12, 2004, inmate Scott A. Miller abducted and raped a prison counselor. Miller, a convicted serial rapist, was serving a 699-year prison sentence at the Delaware Correctional Center – now Vaughn Correctional Center – when he passed through two security checkpoints armed with a homemade knife before taking Cassandra Arnold hostage for nearly seven hours, sexually assaulting her during the ordeal. The standoff ended when a corrections officer shot Miller to death.
The JTVCC is a Level 5 (prison) facility for men located near Smyrna, Delaware, in southern New Castle County. The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is the state’s largest adult, male correctional facility. Currently, JTVCC houses approximately 2,500 inmates. JTVCC houses minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates. JTVCC is also the primary facility for housing the Kent County pre-trial (detainee) population. It also used to house inmates sentenced to the death penalty. Executions were carried out at the JTVCC, until late last year when a federal court ruled that executions were unconstitutional.