Community group to protest in response to prison uprising

March, rally to support correctional, law enforcement officers planned for Delaware’s Legislative Hall this Wednesday

DELAWARE – After recent events at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna and incidents in other Delaware prisons, 302 Back Our Blue says change is needed.

The community organization, formed to support correctional and law enforcement officers, will host a march and rally Wednesday, March 22 in Dover. The march will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Dover Police Department escorted by police motorcycles and end on the steps of Legislative Hall.

The rally will follow, beginning at 4 p.m., at the Law Enforcement Memorial on Legislative Mall. Speakers and presentations of suggestions for improving safety, security and the well-being of all those who enter the walls of Delaware’s Correctional Institutions will be included. Found in the list of speakers are Head of the Senate Correction Committee Senator Bruce C. Ennis and Representative Kevin Hensley whose district includes the prison in Smyrna. More speakers will soon be added.

Correctional institutions statewide have been systematically neglected for many years. According to officers and their union, the facilities and staff have both suffered from underfunding and habitual understaffing with an over reliance on overtime as a cost saving measure. New mandated changes to institutional daily operations without regard to possible consequences have taken away the officers’ ability to maintain control of the prison. We believe that this lack of support has long caused a decrease in staff morale and effective, safe inmate management. It has also contributed to an unsafe working environment in a facility that already carries a high level of risk and danger for anyone inside its walls.

302 Back Our Blue’s immediate mission is to lobby the state government to supply and fund the necessary resources and tools to facilitate a safer environment in Delaware’s prisons. It is our wish to bring to light the safety concerns the correctional officers have faced for a number of years by informing the community in which these officers serve of the hardships they endure daily.  We hope to foster a greater spirit of support for the officers within the Delaware community and the legislature to ensure the safety and success of the Department of Corrections’ rehabilitation mission.

Questions and information requests should be directed to Planning Committee Chair Kati Kline at katikline@outlook.com or 302-242-2769. We hope to have a great turnout to show the community’s ongoing support for these selfless men and women who have sacrificed so much.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.
[fbcomments url="" width="375" count="off" num="3"]