Delaware Public Media

Dept. of Correction adds new security cameras at Vaughn

Mar 25, 2019

Delaware’s Department of Correction has added new security cameras at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

An independent review of Vaughn prison shortly after the deadly prison riot there in 2017 decried the facility’s lack of cameras. DOC says it has since added 714 cameras along with new wiring and viewing stations at a cost of $2.5 million.

“The way we look at it is security for not only the staff and the correctional officers, but also the offenders as well. We have eyes throughout the facility that we did not have before to promote a safe, secure environment,” said DOC Director of Information Technology Phil Winder.

Winder called the effort an “intense approach” to eliminate blind spots in the prison in about 14 months.

“Looking at every building and making sure with the vendor that we selected that there were no blind spots, but as we all know things change and people find the most hideous spots to exploit, but when we do find those, we’ll correct those very quickly,” he said.

DOC officials say work to satisfy other recommendations from the independent review continues.

A spokesperson cited a new officer training program at Wilmington University, new communication strategies within Vaughn prison and a leadership course with the Delaware State Police.

But while attrition among Correctional Officers has gone down in the past year from 11% to 8%, the department still remains understaffed by 11%.