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UPDATE: Inmates Take Guards Hostage at Delaware State Prison



Local reports indicate that there is a hostage situation unfolding at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. All prisons in the state are now under lockdown. The details are murky but State Rep. William Carson told Delaware Online  that “the inmates have taken over a building.” Ambulances and police are currently responding.

The fiance of an inmate apparently called the local newspaper, and said the inmates are demanding better treatment.


The newspaper reports that a man’s voice was patched onto the line and he was asked by the hostage takers to relay demands to The News Journal.  He claims that “a lot” of people have been held hostage. The newspaper said they have turned over the information to authorities.

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is a level 5 prison and is the state’s largest male correctional facility, which houses 2,500 inmates. The facility houses minimum, medium, and maximum security prisoners.

This is a breaking news story, we will update with more information.

Update 8:28 am Feb 2: The hostage situation has ended. Authorities say one Department of Corrections employee has died. A second hostage was safely rescued and is currently in the hospital.

[livestream via CBS 3]


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Rachel Stockman is Editor in Chief of Law&Crime and The Law&Crime Network. She is a former local news reporter, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.