Inmates Are Holding Guards Hostage at a Delaware Prison

Image via WPVI
Image via WPVI

Inmates have taken several guards hostage inside the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, where around 2500 male offenders are currently housed.

Someone at the prison called authorities just before 11 a.m., the AP reports, apparently complaining about smoke inside one of the buildings, prompting other Delaware prisons to go on lockdown as a safety precaution. Department of Correction spokesperson Jayme Gravell told the outlet that’s protocol, even for an isolated incident, and said there’s no threat to the public.

Geoffrey Klopp, the president Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, tells both the Delaware State News and the AP that, “We’re hearing that three to five correctional officers have been taken hostage and the inmates have control of the building.”


According to WPVI, the building in question is Building C, home to less than 150 inmates. It is reportedly a medium security building.

The Delaware News Journal has audio of a man claiming to be an inmate at the facility. He says, in a recording that dips in and out, that a cop has been stabbed and relays a statement he says came from the hostage takers asking for better guard-inmate relations. The news is currently trending under the name “Vaughn Rebellion.”

WPVI reports at least one injury, in which a 35-year-old guard was “struck numerous times with fists and a mop wringer.” He was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. The extent of other injuries is unknown, though a local blood bank is looking for donations.

Former Gawker news editor

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Delaware isn’t even a real place. It only exists when someone from out of state is there to physically observe it...and only exists for that person.