James T. Vaughn Correctional Center

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James T. Vaughn Correctional Center
Smyrna Correctional Center, Delaware.jpg
LocationSmyrna, Delaware
Security classmaximum, medium, and minimum
Managed byDelaware Department of Correction

The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC), formerly the Delaware Correctional Center (DCC), is a state prison for men in unincorporated New Castle County, Delaware, USA,[1] near Smyrna.[2][3] It is the Delaware Department of Correction's largest correctional facility.[citation needed]

JTVCC houses some 2,500 minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates. It is also the primary facility for housing the Kent County pre-trial (detainee) population.

Before the abolition of capital punishment in Delaware, the state's death row for men was located here. The death row for women was located in the Delores J. Baylor Women's Correctional Institution.[4] Executions occurred at JTVCC.[5]

The facility is named for former Delaware State Senator James T. Vaughn, who died in 2007.[6]


In 1996, construction began on a $110 million, 888-bed addition which included 600 maximum security cells in six units. The new addition houses the Security Housing Unit (SHU) and the Medium Housing Unit (MHU).[citation needed]

Inmates in the SHU, which formerly included the prison's death row, occupy single-bunked cells in which they are locked down and receive seventeen and a half hours a week out of their cell for recreational purposes. Inmates may earn their way out of the SHU through good behavior.[citation needed]

In 2015, the prison became a subject of an ACLU lawsuit, due to the use of solitary confinement for mentally ill inmates.[7] Further lawsuits have been filed due to the Delaware State Correction's decision to feed some inmates "baked slop," while other states have discontinued the use of such meals.[8]


On July 12, 2004, 45-year-old inmate Scott Miller, armed with a shank, took a 27-year-old female prison counselor hostage. Miller raped the woman whom he held for seven hours before being shot and killed. Miller, a convicted serial rapist, was serving a 694-year sentence at the time.[9]

On February 1, 2017, inmates took control of Building C, initially holding five correctional officers as hostages according to media reports. This building houses about 100 inmates. The incident was first reported by a correctional officer's radio call for "immediate assistance" at 10:38 a.m. The prison, and all other prisons within Delaware, were placed on lockdown. One hostage was released a few hours later, and taken to a hospital with 'non-life threatening' injuries. Later that evening, two other hostages were reportedly released.[10] When the hostage situation ended, one hostage, identified as correctional officer and 16-year veteran Sgt. Steven Floyd,[11] was killed and another was injured.[12] The incident led to a proposal to reinstate the death penalty in Delaware.[13][14]

Notable inmates[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: New Castle County, DE" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 36, 40 (PDF p. 37, 41/45). Retrieved August 14, 2022. James T Vaughn Correctional Ctr
  2. ^ "James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Archived January 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine." Delaware Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 29, 2010. "1181 Paddock Road Smyrna, DE 19977"
  3. ^ "James T. Vaughn Correctional Center" (Map). Delaware Department of Corrections. Retrieved on November 16, 2012.
  4. ^ "Death Row Fact Sheet Archived August 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." Delaware Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
  5. ^ "JAMES T VAUGHN CORRECTIONAL CENTER (formerly DELAWARE CORRECTIONAL CENTER)." Delaware Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Smyrna Clayton Sun Times "Naming of the facility"." Retrieved on July 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "CLASI and the ACLU File Lawsuit on Behalf of Prisoners with Mental Illnesses in Solitary Confinement - Community Legal Aid Society, Inc". August 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "'Baked slop': Delaware sticks to prison loaf; others end use". Associated Press.
  9. ^ "Delaware AG's Office Full Report on the Use of Deadly Force in Prison Hostage Incident". WBOC-TV. August 30, 2004. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  10. ^ "Official: Correctional Officers Taken Hostage by Inmates at Vaughn Prison in Smyrna". WBOC-TV. February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "Corrections officer killed in Del. hostage situation ID'd". February 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "Prison Employee Killed, Second Rescued as Hostage Situation Ends at Delaware Correctional Facility". February 2, 2017.
  13. ^ Albright, Matthew (May 3, 2017). "Delaware death penalty supporters pass first test". The News Journal. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  14. ^ Kelkar, Kamala (May 5, 2017). "Delaware returns to death penalty debate after prison uprising". San Francisco Bay View. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  15. ^ "Billy Glaze, convicted in Minneapolis serial killings in the 1980s, has died". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "State of Delaware - Department of Correction - Death Row History". Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  17. ^ Fisher, James (June 13, 2016). "Earl Bradley moved to prison out of state". The News Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°19′59″N 75°35′58″W / 39.333°N 75.5995°W / 39.333; -75.5995