James T. Vaughn Correctional Center

The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is a Level 5 (prison) facility for men located near Smyrna, Delaware, in southern New Castle County. The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is the state's largest adult, male correctional facility. 

Currently, JTVCC houses approximately 2,500 inmates at minimum, medium, and maximum security levels. JTVCC is also the primary facility for housing the Kent County pre-trial (detainee) population. It also houses inmates sentenced to the death penalty. Executions are carried out at the JTVCC.

JTVCC opened in 1971 with a capacity of 441. Expansions since then have increased the total bed capacity to over 2,600. In 1996, construction began on a $110 million, 888-bed addition. The expansion included 600 new maximum security cells, the addition of almost 26,000 linear feet (4.8 miles) of security fencing, the installation of 6 miles of razor wire, the construction of a new central tower and an additional perimeter tower, and the installation of new security cameras and enhanced observation points. 

The 600 maximum security cells have been constructed in six new housing units with 888 new beds. Three hundred cells have a single bed; 300 cells are double-bunked unless they are handicap-accessible in which case the cell is single bunked. 

All inmates are classified and assigned quality of life levels consistent with their criminal history, institutional behavior/history, threat to public safety and institutional safety and security, and program needs. The new addition houses the Security Housing Unit (SHU) and the Medium-High Housing Unit (MHU).

The SHU houses those inmates who have demonstrated that they cannot be housed in a lesser security setting and/or whose behavior and history are conducive to maximum security housing. In addition, inmates sentenced to the death penalty are housed in the Security Housing Unit. There are 300 cells in the SHU. Each cell is single-bunked. These inmates may have visitors, make telephone calls and have limited numbers of personal items in their cells including a radio, magazines, and books according to the inmate's assigned quality of life level. 

Inmates, other than those sentenced to the death penalty, may earn their way out of the SHU by exhibiting appropriate behavior, complying with institutional rules and participating in treatment, education, and/or work programs.

The MHU is a step down from the SHU and a step up from the general JTVCC population. Inmates in the MHU have more privileges than inmates in the SHU but fewer privileges than inmates in the general population. The MHU has 588 beds in 300 cells.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visits times at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center are scheduled on Monday through Sunday at the following times: 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm.

To schedule a visit, call the Institution the week prior to the requested visit. The visit scheduling desk is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding State holidays. Persons calling in Delaware can call:

  • 1-800-282-8602 for inmates whose last name begins A-J
  • 1-800-722-0252 for those inmates whose last name begins K to Z

Persons calling from out of state can dial (302) 653-4828.

Visits must be scheduled in Advance – Call on Monday through Friday to visit the following Monday through Sunday.

Visitors must be at the facility a minimum of 30 minutes before the start time of the scheduled visit or you will be denied access. The quantity of visits and the length of visits is dependent upon the inmate's quality of life level.

Two adults and two children ages five & under are permitted on the visit.

Visitors' attire should be conservative and well groomed when entering the institution. Correctional staff will determine whether the visitor's clothing is appropriate based on the following guidelines: 

  • Bathing suits, bodysuits, strapless or low cut, revealing tops; sleeveless shirts, tube tops, and any type of revealing clothing not adhering to the normal standards of decency will not be permitted. 
  • Dresses, skirts, culottes, and/or walking shorts must be no shorter than two inches above the knee, as measured from the bend in the back of the knee with the waistband in the normal position. 
  • Spandex pants, shorts, and leggings are not permitted alone. Leggings may be worn under a skirt. Any see-through material is not permitted.

Visitors are permitted to bring money orders or cashier's checks, car keys, and photo identification with full address. Visitors with infants are permitted to bring in one plastic baby bottle, one diaper, one small blanket, and two disposable wipes. No other items are allowed.

Visitors must have photo identification with a complete, current address for any visitor age 16 and over.

You will be subject to a metal detector search at the time of each visit, and when deemed necessary, the security staff may request a more intense physical search. If you refuse to comply, you will be denied entrance and ordered off of the property.

No property may be exchanged between an inmate and his visitor(s). All cards and letters must be sent out through the mail.

Visitors and inmates alike must show respect for others visiting and keep all conversations in a low tone. Loud conversations, foul language, arguments, or fighting will result in cancellation of the visit and disciplinary action. 

Visitors who commit serious violations of visiting rules will be barred from future visitation.

Physical Address

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center
1181 Paddock Road
Smyrna, DE 19977

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/BeTX3xzjAcfXCYyT6

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC)
Inmate Name
SBI Number
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center
1181 Paddock Road
Smyrna, DE 19977

Mail should be limited to letters, cards, written correspondence, non-Polaroid pictures, and money orders.

Do NOT mail offenders packages, pornography, cash, stamps, tobacco, or illegal substances.

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at JTVCC, but your incarcerated friend or loved one can call you collect during approved hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Delaware, please click here.

How to Send Money

In order to get money to an offender at JTVCC, please adhere to these guidelines:
  • Personal checks will not be accepted
  • It is unwise to send cash in the mail
  • Money orders may be sent by mail or dropped off during scheduled visits with the offender to whom the money is going.

All money orders must include the following information:

  • Offender's full name
  • Offender's SBI number
  • Assigned institution
  • Name of the remitter

Money sent to an inmate will be credited to the offender's account within 24 hours of receipt (during normal business hours).

Programs For Inmates

JTVCC has several programs designed to rehabilitate the inmate, including educational opportunities, vocational training, work assignments, spiritual/religious programs, and a variety of other classes and programming.

Education services are provided to over 1,000 students per year in academic and vocational programming. The program also utilizes the skills of inmate Instructional Aides who assist teachers in the classroom, tutor students, and help with record keeping and other office duties. 

Prison Education staff work closely with the Department of Correction and JTVCC Security and Treatment staff to offer as many educational and training programs as possible.

Academic offerings include:

  • Adult Basic Education, ESL, and GED
  • James H. Groves High School Diploma
  • Special Education Services

Vocational offerings include:

  • Life Skills: Coursework covering a plethora of transitional skills including, but not limited to Moral Reconation Therapy, Interpersonal Skills, Anger & Stress Management, Financial Management and Employment skills.
  • Computers: Computer labs are available for offenders to learn a wide range of computer literacy skills. Students are able to attain completion certificates in Keyboarding, Windows OS, MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and MS Publisher
  • HVAC and Plumbing: Courses are provided through industry recommended curriculum including hands-on and classroom learning activities. Successful completion of these courses leads to National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER) certification.
  • Automotive Technology: This course provides instruction in maintenance and repair including: detailing, general maintenance, engine repair, automatic transmission/transaxle; suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning, and engine performance.  All instruction focuses on the content needed to receive Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

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Careers at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center

The Delaware Department of Correction is the state's largest law enforcement agency. If you are interested in a career at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, click here.