More Debate Over Why Much Needed Masks Rejected by DOC-Political, Petty, or Legitimate?


Dear Friends

Last week I wrote about the Delaware Department of Corrections (DOC) for rejecting the gift of 4,600 protective “Covid-19 virus” masks from the “Citizens for Pro-Business Delaware” group. I decided to write about it again as I’m seeing more coverage in the Dover Post.

According to “Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware” (CPBD) leader Chris Coffey, the group wants all prisoners to have masks. As I stated in my last article, CPBD criticized the Delaware Department of Correction after the agency declined the much-needed gift of 4,600 face masks on April 29th. Coffey expounded, in words to the effect, “that it is outrageous that not all the inmates were getting masks!”

Apparently, after Coffey offered the masks, the DOC accepted. They then changed their decision just hours later and wrote to him saying they had enough masks and to give the masks to other community groups. “Right now, more than 2,100 inmates have masks”, said Jason Miller, DOC chief of communications and community relations. According to him, compromised inmates, those in the prison hospital, and food handlers all had masks. After an inmate at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center died of COVID-19 on April 30th, Coffey indicated he felt there were not enough masks and obviously there was a major problem.

Folks, considering there has been a recent death due to an outbreak of the virus in Delaware prisons and according to my reliable sources, only half of the inmates have been supplied with masks, what’s going on here?! If the DOC actually has enough masks then why don’t all inmates have one?? Something just doesn’t add up here folks.

Frankly, I agree with Coffey. The DOC should be doing everything it can to fix the early delays in securing the health of Delaware’s inmates, but instead, they waffle continuously! The latest thing is the CPBD is working with Pastor Blaine Hackett to help hand out the masks.

Please see the “Dispute over mask donation for inmates” story below from the Dover Post. The bottom line here folks… you can’t have enough masks! To reject this generous donation is absurd! Put politics aside Delaware!

Indeed, I have great praise FOR THE GOOD WORK the Citizens group is doing in Delaware, while trying to improve our courts and participating in the recovery and protection of Delawareans — including those who are incarcerated.

As always your comments are welcome.

Respectfully yours,

JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network

Dispute over mask donation for inmates

By Emily Lytle * Delaware

Posted at 11:18 AMUpdated at 12:36 PM

Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware wants all prisoners to have masks.

Leaders of the nonprofit group Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware criticized the Delaware Department of Correction after the agency refused their donation of 4,600 face masks April 29.
“It is morally outrageous that the DOC would reject these masks for inmates in the state prison system,” Chris Coffey, CPBD campaign manager, said.

After Coffey offered the masks, the DOC wrote to him, saying the system had enough masks. The spokesperson encouraged CPBD to donate to other areas of the community in need.

“The DOC has reviewed our inventory of face masks and has determined that with our current inventory and existing procurement of face masks, including through Delaware Correctional Industries, we have sufficient supply chain to meet our needs,” a DOC spokesperson wrote.

Right now, more than 2,100 inmates have masks, said Jason Miller, DOC chief of communications and community relations. They include those who are in infirmaries, have compromised immune systems or work institutional jobs like food service. All inmates at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and Sussex Community Corrections Center, the two prisons with sick inmates, were given masks.

CPBD believes all inmates should be given masks. This comes after an inmate at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center died of COVID-19 April 30.

“The DOC should be making every effort possible to make up for its deadly early delays in protecting inmates, but instead they are doubling down on their callous disregard for inmates’ health and wellbeing rejecting lifesaving PPE,” Coffey said.

Officials at the DOC are constantly considering whether to distribute more masks, Miller said. If they do decide to continue giving more out, they have enough to do that.

“If Mr. Coffey insists on delivering face masks to the DOC that it does not need instead of donating them to community-serving organizations and others who don’t have sufficient face mask supplies, the DOC is willing to accept that delivery and provide the face masks to inmates being released back into the community at the conclusion of their court-ordered sentence,” Miller said.

CPBD is now working with Pastor Blaine Hackett of St. John’s African Methodist Church to distribute the masks through the NAACP.

“We are thrilled to partner with Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware to get nearly 5,000 masks in the hands of those who desperately need them,” Hackett said. “Our communities are suffering and vulnerable right now, but efforts like this give me hope that we can all come together with strengthened bonds between us and help those most in need.”


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About Judson Bennett

Captain A. Judson Bennett was a life- long resident of Lewes, DE. He served the maritime industry for 33 years, primarily as a Delaware River Pilot, guiding large ships to the Port of Philadelphia. Captain Bennett has been an active and consistent entrepreneur over the years.

He was elected as a Lewes City Councilman for 6 years. Afterwards he ran for the Sussex County Council as a Republican, and with 20 thousand people voting, lost Delaware’s closest election by 3 votes to an 8 year incumbent. Abandoning his personal political ambitions, he became the Republican District leader, advocating conservative values. Captain Bennett became a lobbyist in the state legislature advocating among many ideas, financial literacy concepts in education. He managed several political campaigns, including one for Governor of Delaware and one for the US Senate against VP Joe Biden. He is now the owner, operator, and writer for the Coastal Network which communicates regularly with over 6000 people throughout the State of Delaware.

Captain Bennett is a graduate of St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, DE (where the movie “The Dead Poet’s Society was filmed) and also graduated “Magna Cum Laude” from the University of Delaware with a BA in Criminal Justice and an MA in Liberal Studies.

He is now a Widower, living in West Palm Beach, Florida. Captain Bennett has one son, three grandchildren, and one great grand-daughter, all who live in Richmond, Virginia.