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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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August 29, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 29, 1997
 

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"lmlllmlml| l CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 29 - September 4, 1997 - 17 Corrections department fires three SCI guards for alleged abuse By Kerry Kester The Delaware Department of Correction terminated employ- ment for three of its correctional officers following a two-month investigation into alleged inmate abuse. Although the Attorney General's Office is also investi- gating the case, no criminal charges have yet been filed. According to Carl Danberg, as- sistant to the commissioner of cor- rection, the department launched a two-tiered investigation in the spring, when an employee alerted School Continued from page 16 the school, she said, included new flooring in the smaller building and installation of wiring for the Internet in both buildings. Programming changes or up- grades for the year include easy access to both a Title I liaison teacher and the science coalition coordinator for the Smithsonian science program (Marian Wolak), who will both be housed in the school. Two teachers underwent intensive study in complex in- struction during the summer months, said Walker, the space simulator is scheduled to be placed at Rehoboth Elementary School in January, and the school the warden at Sussex Correctional Institution (SCI) of an alleged physically abusive incident in- volving an inmate, Wade Blankenship, who is serving a nat- ural life sentence on a 1982 rape and burglary conviction. Following the department's protocol, the prison warden imme- diately alerted the Delaware State Police and Internal Affairs. "We started two investigations as soon as we discovered the incidents," said Danberg, who said the al- leged misconduct occurred in No- has applied for a technology grant for instructional management, which if approved will help teach- ers align curriculum with state standards. Walker said the school is also implementing the Positive Action Discipline Program, which entails providing incentives for positive behaviors and a vocabulary pro- gram. One vocabulary word related to positive behavior is selected each week, she said, and every staff member is encouraged to use it with the students. Teachers will also have tickets to distribute to students exemplifying positive be- havior. There will be drawings, award assemblies and other re- wards, said Walker, for students promoting school-wide positive behavior. The Phce to Phy This Summer. .( N Play our 1,000 slots for hot summer giveaways and jackpots, enjoy special concerts and dinner theater, bet daily simulcasting, and catch live nightly entertainment in the Garden Care and Gazebo Bar! Dover Downs Slots has something for everyone. I lllll/ ll ll Sizzlin' Summer Giveaway II Ii WIN $25,000 OPEN: MON. - SAT., 8 AM - 2 AM SUN., 1 PM- 2 AM I Present th/s coupon at the Blue l)imnmai C/ub for your I chance to  $2000 imtaady or other great ln/zes. _ --- You ,rest be a Blue Dimm C mm to be dib, iNe. I ROUTE 13" DOVER, DE" 1-800-7165882 Member/s e.. Jobl today, j Direr:flare From AIJeataw, rn Pa. T#. Sooth to 1.476 to While supplies last. Expire* 9/5/97 CX3 1.95SouthmmDdmam.E.,italRt.|Solah(rame.m  All C-ames a video Iottet games coatrdled b the m m C.Mmmna Malt)  on RI. I and lmv sr,s. turOmlr Delawan Lottery. You tomt be 21 to pl T. Gambling m Dme Dowra/s a/grox. 45 rr/ks 0m Vtbanlltm. Prdlems? 1-888-850-8888 Dehwa C.otmcil cm Gambling Pmbkms mnmnmmmnmm vember of 1996. The Internal Af- fairs investigation concluded in May, he said, "and we formally accused three of the officers of misconduct." In July, they were fired. Ron Phillips, attorney, is repre- senting correctional officers James Burton, 37, and Mark Mur- phy, 38, in the administrative process, with plans to assist the Delaware Correctional Officers Association in the grievance and appeal process. "How the allega- tions came about, I think, gives everybody a bit of pause," said Phillips. "The timeline itself calls this whole thing into question. The timing of everything is sus- pect." A. Dean Betts, Jr., also a Georgetown attorney, is repre- senting a third officer, Michael Truitt, 38. According to Cpl. Preston Lewis, Delaware State Police spokesman, the state police the al- leged misconduct appears to have occurred on Nov. 20 and was re- ported to state police April 28. Detectives have finished their in- vestigation and the case is now in the hands of the Attorney Gener- al's Office, said Lewis. Deputy Attorney General James Adkins confirmed-that no charges have been issued; he declined comment on the case because the case is still under investigation in the Depart- ment of Justice. A fourth officer involved was not accused of participating in the incident itself, said Danberg, but he was allegedly involved in relat- ed issues. That officer has re- tained his employment at SCI. "It's a disciplinary matter within the department at this point. The department does not believe he poses a threat to the inmate," said Danberg. "We've attempted to assure his [the victim's] protec- tion to the best of our ability in an institutional setting. Danberg said that some people have attempted to link the alleged inmate abuse at SCI with a notori- ous case recently reported in New York. "This is reprehensible con- duct. We took an aggressive stance, said Danberg, who also noted, "This is not New York. It's Delaware. Incidents of inmate abuse are very infrequent in Delaware." 'qhe department's primary mis- sion is protecting the public; how- ever, we are committed to providing a safe environ- ment for indi- viduals in our custody," said Stan Taylor, Delaware commissioner of correction. TAYLOR "The vast majority of our employees are dedicated professionals who per- form a difficult job under some extremely difficult circumstances, and they do their jobs very well," said Taylor. "All correctional professionals are hurt when indi- viduals with law enforcement au- thority abuse the public's trust. "Situations do arise in the day- to-day execution of our duties that require the use of force, and I stand firmly behind the officers forced to make the tough deci- sions of when and how to apply force," Taylor said. "Conduct such as has been alleged has no role and will not be tolerated." Eagle's Nest Kindergarten & Pre-school now has openangs for their new Kindergarten Class! Kindergarten begins September 8th 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Afternoon day care available Certified Teacher: Julie Hunter Reasonably Priced - Lunch Provided Small teacher-student ratio OPEN HOUSE MEET THE TEACHER AND DAY CARE STAFF FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5TH 7 A.M. TO 8:30 P.M. Licensed Day Care Available for all ages Pre'School Available Ages 3-4 years old Call 684-2765 for more information Ask for Lucy!