TITLE 11

Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Prisons and Prisoners

CHAPTER 65. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION

Subchapter I. Purposes, Definitions and Powers


There is established a Department of Correction. Said Department shall be a continuation of and successor to the State Board of Corrections existing prior to July 8, 1964.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 6504; 54 Del. Laws, c. 349, § 1.;

(a) A Department of Correction is established to provide for the treatment, rehabilitation and restoration of offenders as useful, law-abiding citizens within the community. To achieve these purposes more effectively in a coordinated and united manner, the Department shall be completely responsible for the maintenance, supervision and administration of adult detention and correctional services and facilities of the State, which include institutional facilities and probation and parole services. These institutions and services shall be diversified in program, construction and staff to provide effectively and efficiently for the maximum study, care, custody, training and supervision and treatment of those persons committed to the institutional facilities or on probation or parole, so that they may be prepared for release, aftercare, discharge or supervision in the community. This chapter shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate its purposes.

(b) The Department shall accept custody of all persons committed to it by courts of competent jurisdiction. Persons committed to the custody of the Department shall not be released from custody except in accordance with this title or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(c) Nothing in this title shall be construed to require the release of persons committed to the custody of the Department, nor shall anything in this title be construed as a limitation on the inmate population at any of the facilities maintained by the Department.

Nothing in any regulation promulgated by the Department shall be construed as a limitation on the inmate population at any of the facilities maintained by the Department.

(d) In the event that: (1) The number of persons housed by the Department at any of its facilities exceeds the design capacity of that facility; and (2) because the inmate population at that facility exceeds the design capacity of that facility the Department is unable to provide conditions of confinement as may otherwise be required by this title or by the regulations promulgated by the Department, then the Department shall not be required to provide said conditions of confinement to the extent it is unable to do so because of the inmate population at that facility. The Commissioner shall determine the design capacity of each of the facilities maintained by the Department.

(e) For purposes of this section, the term "inmate population'' shall include both convicted and pretrial detentioners.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 6501; 54 Del. Laws, c. 349, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 61, §§ 1, 2.;

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Commissioner'' or "Commissioner of Correction'' means the Commissioner of the Department of Correction.

(2) "Department'' means the Department of Correction. References in other statutes to the State Board of Corrections or Board of Trustees or workhouse or jail shall be deemed to mean the Department.

(3) "Law'' includes the laws and ordinances of this State, political subdivisions and municipalities thereof.

(4) "Offender'' includes any person convicted of a crime or offense as defined in § 101 of this title or the ordinances of any incorporated municipality of this State, including a person committed for civil or criminal contempt, except,

a. A person not yet 18 years old when adjudged by a Family or Juvenile Court of this State except when committed to the Department in accordance with law, and

b. A person who has been determined to be mentally ill or criminally inclined and has been committed to another appropriate authority.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 6502; 54 Del. Laws, c. 349, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 591, § 47; 58 Del. Laws, c. 172, § 2; 60 Del. Laws, c. 251, §§ 11-13; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 15; 78 Del. Laws, c. 305, § 2.;

The Department, subject only to powers vested in the judicial and certain executive departments and officers of the State, shall have the duties set forth in this chapter and the exclusive jurisdiction over the care, charge, custody, control, management, administration and supervision of:

(1) All offenders and persons under the custody of the Department;

(2) All institutions for the custody, correction and rehabilitation of persons committed to its care;

(3) Such other facilities as may be established by the Department for the safekeeping, correction or rehabilitation of offenders and persons;

(4) Probation services for courts having jurisdiction of offenders;

(5) Parole services for persons within the institutions and facilities of the Department or on parole;

(6) Furnishing the Board of Parole adequate office facilities and supplies to properly perform its duties;

(7) Providing consultation services and establishing standards on the design and construction of buildings, programs, administration of detention, jail or other facilities, operated by any county or municipality, and to provide a course of training for the personnel of same and establish standards for the same, with annual inspections, publishing the results of such inspections, as well as statistical and other data on persons held in the same;

(8) Operating classification committees, diagnostic and treatment programs and such other programs as may be desirable to fulfill the purposes of this chapter;

(9) Employing such officers, employees and agents and securing offices and quarters as deemed necessary to discharge the functions of the Department;

(10) Receiving all offenders committed to the Department;

(11) Executing the orders of the court as to sentences of corporal and capital punishment;

(12) Selling the products of its institutions and farms to other institutions supported in all or part by taxes levied within the State, prices to be set as provided by rules of the Department. All funds received from such sales shall be deposited in the General Fund. In the event that there is a surplus of the products of the Department's institutions and farms which cannot be sold to the other institutions supported in whole or part by taxes levied within the State, the Department may sell such surplus products on the open market. All funds received from such sales shall be deposited in the General Fund;

(13) To agree with the proper authorities of the United States for payment to the General Fund of the State of such sums as shall be fixed by the Department for the maintenance and support of offenders committed to the Department by authority of the United States;

(14) Collecting a fee as a condition of probation supervision. An offender sentenced to probation shall be charged a fixed fee of $200 for each period of probation. If an offender is serving multiple sentences of probation simultaneously, the sentences shall be treated as 1 period of probation for the purposes of assessing and collecting the supervision fee. The Bureau Chief of Community Corrections shall develop policies and procedures with regard to determining an offender's ability to pay the fee. Such policies and procedures shall be applied on a consistent basis to all offenders, and shall be subject to approval by the Commissioner of Correction. In the event the Department determines an offender is unable to pay the fee due to lack of employment or other significant extenuating circumstances, such as an offender's responsibility to remit payment for victim compensation, restitution or child support, said inability shall not constitute a violation of supervision. The offender shall remain liable to pay the fee at such time as the Department determines offender is able to do so.

11 Del. C. 1953, § 6505; 54 Del. Laws, c. 349, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 15; 66 Del. Laws, c. 233, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 289, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 27, § 6; 78 Del. Laws, c. 305, § 2.;

11 Del. C. 1953, § 6513; 54 Del. Laws, c. 349, § 1; repealed by 78 Del. Laws, c. 305, § 7, eff. July 5, 2012.;

(a) The Department shall be the hiring agency for all correctional officers and other persons employed by the Department. Any applicant for employment by the Department shall take such physical, mental, and intelligence or other tests as the Department shall prescribe, and shall provide the Department with such information as it may need for its employment decisions.

(b) Prior to making an employment decision on an applicant for employment by the Department, the Department shall obtain the applicant's entire criminal history record from both the State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prior to employing the applicant, the Department shall complete and review the results of a computerized name search of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) maintained by the Delaware Criminal Justice Information System (DELJIS) to determine if the applicant has any criminal history record information. Based on the results of the computerized name searches for criminal history records, the Department shall not employ any individual who has ever been convicted of a felony offense in this or any other state or jurisdiction, or who has ever been convicted of an offense in another state or jurisdiction that would be a felony offense in the State of Delaware. Prior to employing the applicant, the Department also shall initiate a background search using any state or federal automated fingerprint identification system. Upon receiving the results of fingerprint-based searches for background information, the Department shall immediately terminate the employment of any individual employed by the Department who has ever been convicted of a felony offense in this or any other state or jurisdiction, or who has ever been convicted of an offense in another state or jurisdiction that would be a felony offense in the State of Delaware.

(c) Notwithstanding the above prohibition on employment and the provisions of § 8914 of Title 29, the Department may, upon an individual's release from a Level 4 or Level 5 vocational program, employ on a casual/seasonal basis an ex-offender disqualified from employment pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, above, demonstrating exceptional job skills (as determined by the Department in its sole discretion) in certain qualified positions for a period of time not to exceed 6 months. The Department may not employ an ex-offender disqualified from employment pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, above, unless the Department has adopted policies and procedures governing the terms and conditions of employment for such individuals, identifying the qualified positions available to such individuals and setting forth the selection criteria and job qualifications and requirements for each qualified position. Individuals employed under this subsection shall not be covered by any union contract or Chapter 59 of Title 29. Nothing in this section shall create any right, privilege or entitlement to employment of any kind to any individual.

(d) The initial employment of any person by the Department shall be on a probationary basis for the first 6 months or in accordance with the union contract during which time the probationary employee shall not be eligible for merit system status. Upon the successful completion of the probationary period, the employee shall be covered by the classified service as defined under Chapter 59 of Title 29. This subjection shall not apply to any individual hired on a casual/seasonal basis pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, above.

60 Del. Laws, c. 654, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 66, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 305, § 7; 79 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1.;