Saturday, February 22, 2020

Jailhouse of Horrors: One Suicide, At Least Eight Others Hospitalized After Fentanyl Overdose at Delaware County Jail

Several families are reeling from a Christmas catastrophe that began with fentanyl being distributed to inmates at George W. Hill Correctional Facility – leaving at least eight women hospitalized – and according to sources close to the investigation, two remain in critical condition.

Five of the women were rushed to local hospitals on Christmas, with at least three others sent on Christmas Eve. Additionally, out of approximately six suicide attempts through the two-day period, at least one male inmate was found dead from an apparent suicide on Christmas Eve.

What’s more, inexperienced guards didn’t know what to do when they witnessed women “dropping like dominos,” according to a well-placed source working at the troubled jail. 

At about 10:25 p.m. on Christmas, a female inmate found herself scouring the corridors of Delaware County’s George W. Hill Correctional Facility for help after several female inmates were suffering what appeared to be an apparent overdose. 

Finally, after searching the lone corridors of the prison, the female inmate found help. But the help, a female correctional officer, was stunned after being awoken from a nap to find an inmate screaming for help. Joined by a second officer, they journeyed back to the women’s work release unit. 

She’s not breathing, what do we do?

When the trio entered the unit, they immediately located at-least five female inmates suffering from apparent overdoses, but their nightmare worsened.

One inmate was completely unresponsive, according to a well-placed source. It was then they realized they had a grave issue on their hand and instantly started to alert other prison staff, who rushed to the scene.

“One of the girls in the unit ran to find help,” the first of four independent sources told under the condition of anonymity. “One of the inmates was completely unresponsive, without a pulse,” the source continued. 

“She was crying for help but there were no guards around. They left an entire wing of the prison unsupervised, leaving the inmates forever scarred – they saw half-a-dozen women clenching for life before their eyes and couldn’t do a thing, or find help. If that isn’t cruel and unusual, I don’t know what is.” 

“They were waiting for an absolution that would never come,” the source continued. “This isn’t a jail; this is a concentration camp. They’re basically untrained and overworked security guards.”

“The guards froze when they saw her on the ground not responding,” the source divulged. “They didn’t know what to do.”

One guard stated: “’She’s not breathing – what do we do?’”

The majority of senior level staff, including high-ranking correctional officers, have been on leave for the holiday and are expected to return the first week of January, and according to a second source close to the situation, the final moments of the madness ended in a “wild goose chase,” where the lives of the inmates were left in the hands of guards described as “trainee[s], with little to no experience.”

They left an entire wing of the prison unsupervised.

“After a wild choose chase, some guards finally got wind of what was going down,” said the source. After another guard entered the unit, one official screamed: “’We can’t revive her! We can’t revive her! Did anyone call 911?’” 

It was then the guards notified outside authorities, prompting a massive medical response. 

According to multiple sources, the mass-overdose happened in the women’s work release unit, which is setup similar to a dormitory with pods containing approximately six beds composed of three bunks. 

Further, the fentanyl is allegedly trafficked in from inmates who partake in the work release program. For larger, hard-to-conceal narcotics, such as K2, correctional officers assist the inmates by accepting payment in the form of PayPal from outsiders attempting to smuggle contraband into the prison. 

“It’s an every night occurrence. The K2 comes in through the guards because that’s something the work release people can’t smuggle in, they can’t stick that anywhere. It comes through the guard; guards are paid through PayPal,” the third source told

“Suboxone is brought in by them too. They always blame the prisoners which is a joke because they get searched inside and out. Obviously, there are some that bring some in, if there’s a will there’s a way – but this blatant. Guards blatantly bring it in – right in plain sight.”

Immediately after the calls for help were initiated, prison officials cut the lines to all telephones to avoid any potential leaks to the press. 

“Inmates weren’t allowed near any of the phones even though they were deactivated,” said the source. “It was like a scene out of a horror movie – most of the inmates in that specific section are there for non-violent, petty crimes and are sent there for help.”

“The help they get is a new drug connect, one that can feed them drugs without having to go through family interventions. People are hanging themselves; they’re overdosing, they’re committing suicide. Christmas was just another day at [George Hill].” 

“They always blame the visitors which is a complete joke,” the source continued. “Visitors get searched inside and out – occasionally, you’ll have one or two visitors try to slip contraband in – and they get caught. Daily, you’ll have four or five guards slip contraband in. You do the math.”

Adding to the tragic turn of events is the fact that inmates couldn’t have had visitors smuggle the narcotics in, given the timing and visitation schedule, according to a well-placed source.

“That unit has visitation on Thursdays,” said the source. “The incident happened Wednesday. If you can sit there and believe a person suffering from drug addiction held on to any drug for one week to blow through them on Christmas is ridiculous.”

“The only way five women suffer overdoses at once on the day before visitation is being given narcotics from other individuals, not visitors. I’m not making any assumptions nor pointing fingers, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how the stuff got in.”

The building is owned by Community Education Centers, which was acquired by The GEO Group – a Florida-based company that specializes in privatized corrections, detention, and mental health treatment.

The GEO Group did not reply to repeated requests for comment.


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