Prisoners Holding Guards Hostage at Delaware Prison
At least 4 guards and a counselor are being held hostage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 1, 2017 4:51 PM CST
A prison guard stands at one of the towers at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.   (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)

(Newser) – At least four guards and a counselor were taken hostage by inmates Wednesday inside a Delaware prison, according to a union attorney, and all the state's prisons were put on lockdown as police swarmed the facility. Bruce Rogers, counsel for the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, told the AP 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 Delaware State Police were on the scene responding to a hostage situation. A DOC spokesperson said an emergency situation was reported at the Smyrna prison late Wednesday morning. The facility was placed on lockdown, as were all prisons in the state per DOC policy.

Spokesperson Jayme Gravell provided few details but described the situation as an isolated incident, adding that there was no threat to the public. Rogers said he'd been briefed on the situation by the union president, who was talking to officials at the scene. He described the building under inmate control as housing between 120 and 150 inmates. The population is considered medium to maximum security, he said. There has been very little communication between inmates and those on the outside, and no demands have been communicated to the union, according to Rogers. Gravell said firefighters were called to the scene after reports of smoke and were being held on standby.

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