JTVCC inmates file lawsuit claiming abuse and torture before and after deadly riot
DELAWARE – 47 ABC has been following the Vaughn riot trials since they started in Wilmington, but just on October 31st, a new lawsuit surfaced.
It still has to do with the riot from February of 2017, but this case includes inmates claiming abuse and torture pointing their fingers at the Department of Corrections and the state of Delaware.
It’s an 80-page lawsuit that contains a lot of information, not just from the February 1st takeover, but months before and after. The plaintiffs include over 100 inmates and one of their attorneys is Stephen Hampton. 47 ABC sat down with Hampton, who says he has a 20-year history filled with lawsuits against the DOC.
Through this lawsuit, many inmates claim that the abuse started way before the riot and continues today. “A significant number of them would be verbally abusive, threaten the inmates, call them names and just seem as if it was there job to come in every day and make it miserable for the inmates. The way they feel like the correctional officers showed them no respect and changed the rules on them all the time,” Hampton tells 47 ABC.
Inmates claim they were stripped of educational and rehab programs, as well as medical care and attention. That is just a portion of what the lawsuit covers. Most troubling, the abuse and torture inmates allegedly endured immediately after the deadly riot. Hampton explains to us, “That’s when they would tie the hands behind them and lying on floor, jump on them, kick them punch them pepper spray in their face while they are already on the floor restrained.”
Inmates, who are part of the suit, say they were also humiliated and sexually assaulted.
But not all of the 100 plaintiffs in the suit were there in the days following the riot. “A lot of those men abused hadn’t been in C-19 but they were badly treated, so I’ve added some of them as plaintiffs also. They are still abusing and mistreating the inmates, especially the ones who think may be in this complaint,” Hampton tells us.
Listed as defendants in this suit: Governor John Carney, Commissioner Perry Phelps, and multiple correctional officers.
Hampton says, more than anything, inmates and their families just want the abuse to stop happening. We’re told the inmates want compensation for the physical and mental injuries.
The Delaware Attorney General’s office is not a defendant but they were mentioned in the suit. All of the defendants plus the AG’s office have denied any comment due to active litigation.
We’re told all the defendants need to file an answer within 20 days, they got served but their lawyers can extend that period.