Deadly days in Delaware

So this story┬áhas got to be a nightmare for the State of Delaware for numerous reasons. First, it’s sad anytime an officer loses his/her life in the line of duty. Second one can only imagine how horrible life is for inmates in the Delaware prison system this week, especially for the overwhelming majority of inmates who had nothing to do with the uprising (i.e., inmates at other Delaware prison locations). Last, how about all those recruits going through job training or college graduates contemplating a career with the Delaware Department of Prisons? Yes, a nightmare on all accounts.

That said, hopefully the whole situation (once the story emerges) will serve as teachable moment for all those involved, including the local community, state and nation.


7 responses to “Deadly days in Delaware”

  1. Kaleigh Cleaveland says:

    This is the first time hearing of this tragedy, and after reading up a little on it, I am able to say that I am surprised at the outcome of such a situation. In one article I read, it was noted that this particular facility houses 2,500 inmates; the area that the hostage situation took place were those being held in minimum-medium security. From reading initially, my thought was that those who committed this crime were coming from maximum security, due to the stigma put onto that label.

    Considering that there was a standoff conducted by the amount of inmates there were for the amount of time it took place, it is amazing that there wasn’t more damage done. The main thing that comes to mind when hearing about this happening is the fact that those who are put in charge of watching after and taking care of the inmates were ultimately taken advantage of, and sadly, one died. The ideal that we bestow upon those in these positions is difficult to commend in the line of duty when occurrences like this one happen. The many inmates involved in this, as well as those who escaped, is striking in comparison to the original purpose of the few correctional officers, as being the guards to the many inmates.

    When taking into account the lock down of all state prisons, it is suspected that there had to be a lot of speculation, fear, and maintenance among all prisoner workers and inmates alike statewide. When one goes into this position, I’m sure that they live with the fear and thought that something of this nature could occur, but it is seen as a rare happening and therefore there is most likely not as much preparation in this situation. When going into this position and knowing the consequences of handling prisoners, it is often seen as a guarding position where they have control, yet in this instance, that control was somewhat taken away and put in the hands of those they were trusted to handle.

  2. Courtney Behm says:

    This article is very sad for all involved and affected. I’m thinking of going into correctional treatment and articles like these make me weary. I have to remind myself to not let this scare me.

    In regards to the takeover, I found it interesting and intuitive of the inmates in using water to fill foot lockers to build barricades. I also found it interesting to read the inmates’ demands for better conditions including education, rehabilitation programs, and improved training. Although these issues are definitely in need, it pains me to wish they had thought of a better way.

  3. Jillian Endl says:

    This article most definitely pulled on the heart strings quite a bit, as it is an incredible tragedy. Although I am very aware that things like this could happen far more often than they do, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a very scary situation. This article made me open my eyes to the fact that as much as we think prison guards have control of their inmates, sometimes that is not the case. I found it extra interesting that the inmates felt the only way they could get their points across was to hold guards hostage. This seemed twisted to me because they obviously were not going to be able to hold these hostages forever, and they would soon have to realize that what they were doing would be for nothing. All negative things aside, I also feel like this event should open the eyes to prison officials as to how important and crucial their safety is.

  4. Karli Doerr says:

    I found this event very surprising and shocking. As we discussed in class it is hard to understand what at that particular moment caused the inmates to react in such a way. I am also curious as to what if they had been planning this event or if it just happened at that moment because of the way the inmates had barricaded the doors with water and also how they demanded certain things. It is also hard to understand how this does not happen more often in prisons because of the guards to inmates ratio. I cannot imagine how people training for those types of positions must feel after this event. I know if I were training and planning to go to Delaware I might reconsider or at least be more curious on the safety measures that they had there.

  5. Trish Sorenson says:

    I find these types of events extremely disheartening when it comes to our criminal justice system. It is unfortunate that the Delaware prisoners had to stoop to the level of revolting against their superiors to ask for things. Although, I do understand why they were demanding for education, better trained guards, and thorough rehabilitation programs. Those demands are not absurd- they are something that all prisons should provide for their inmates to better themselves. I would hope that the superiors do not look down upon the inmates for causing a riot thus not giving them their demands in the future. However, as a community we cannot look past the sadness of losing Sergeant Steven Floyd, while doing his job. As investigators look into his death more closely, hopefully there will be justice done for Sergeant Floyd.

  6. Alyssia Kleinhans says:

    With this being a 19 hour standoff with 120 inmates I am surprised that only one officer was killed, thankfully there was not more injured or killed. It is crazy how this doesn’t happen more, again thankfully it doesn’t, with only having 4 guards to watch over 120 criminal inmates. As brought up in class, what makes inmates abide by the rules, for the most part, when they could easily riot. I think the idea of more punishment plays a big role, and also maybe knowing that they won’t win. For the ones that tried to escape, they were caught anyways.
    After reading more about this tragedy, it is obvious that the inmates were upset about programs going on in the prison, but I am curious how this situation ultimately started that day. To me this riot would not help the situation, in fact I think it will make it worse. The inmates wanted better education, programs, etc. but I think now prisons might install more strict rules which may make the prison limit these programs even more.

  7. Camille Deller says:

    This made me think of the quote “desperate times call for desperate measures”. The inmates truly believed that the only way anyone was going to listen was to act out. This whole ordeal could have avoided if the programs had already been implemented. People need to remember that the vast majority of inmates will be released back into society so the programs that were demanded by the inmates are necessities.

    What is interesting to me, as discussed in class, is how are inmates not rioting more than they already are?

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