Alleged destruction of property and humiliation during JTVCC shakedowns; Union president defends CO’s
DELAWARE – The murder of Lieutenant Steven Floyd shed some light on operations in the Delaware correctional system.
After several reports of inmates attacking correctional officers, there’s also a recent lawsuit of CO’s allegedly abusing and harassing inmates as well.
According to a recent report Wednesday, things don’t seem to be getting better. Stephen Hampton, the lawyer of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit reporting abuse after the riot, says a shakedown took place. To break it down, a shakedown is when the CO’s come in and check the cells for any contraband.
But Hampton says the CO’s are doing more than just checking for weapons. He says they’re humiliating the inmates.
But 47 ABC also spoke to the correctional officer union president, Geoff Klopp who says, the CO’s are doing everything they can to take care of these inmates.
“What’s very very troubling is that every single time they do that they take the inmates property and throw it all around the cell mix it together and break it. It seems to be that the lawsuit has raised a level a little bit that people are being harassed more,” Hampton tells us.
According to Hampton inmates tell the attorney that the water was shut off and meals weren’t served during the shakedown. “Even if they start for a legitimate reason, maybe there’s contraband.
They still do them in the most abusive way possible that’s not the purpose of it. The purpose of it is to make sure there is no purpose of contraband,” Hampton says.
Klopp says these shakedowns are crucial for safety. According to Klopp, “Usually there’s activity inappropriate activity by the inmates and so we come in and randomly check to see if they have everything they’re allowed to have and that they don’t have any contraband.”
Hampton says these recent shakedowns are now becoming stunts of ongoing abuse and embarrassment.
But Klopp is defending his CO’s. “The inmates don’t like it because it disrupts their daily schedule. There’s a lot of chatter right now about how inmates are being treated by our correctional officers. None of the chatter I believe to be true.”
Inmates and CO’s can agree that both are feeling distressed and feeling abused.
The Department of Corrections says there was a lockdown at JTVCC due to security concerns. They say utilities weren’t shut off, medical was not interrupted, and meals were delivered as scheduled.