Howard R. Young Correctional Institution

Kolawole Akinbayo, Warden
Karl Sturgill, Deputy Warden

The Howard R. Young Correctional Institution (also known as Gander Hill Prison due to the neighborhood in which it is located) is a Level 5 facility in the northeast section of Wilmington, Delaware. The facility is named for a 33-year Department veteran who died in 2001 after a battle with cancer. Originally called the Multi-Purpose Criminal Justice Facility, it was renamed in honor of Young in February 2004. Young was the first Warden of the prison when it opened in 1982.

The original facility, now called the West Wing, was designed to hold 360 detainees, individuals who are awaiting trial/sentencing or unable to make bail. In 1992, a new section, the East Wing, opened. This construction project added 480 beds for sentenced offenders. Additional construction projects have increased the capacity to 1,180. The facility now averages 1,500 offenders.

  • Processes approximately 60% of all admissions in the Delaware Correctional system and houses the majority of the detainee population.
  • The Key Visions Program is the first component of Delaware's substance abuse treatment regimen for offenders with a history of substance abuse. Key Visions is a prison based therapeutic community with a total treatment environment that is discipline based, intense and isolated from the rest of the prison population. The Key Visions Program is open to sentenced offenders who are within 12 to 36 months of their short term release date or within 15 months of a parole date. The projected length of stay in the program is 12 to 18 months and is based on performance. This means that the length of time an offender spends in the program depends upon their level of participation and how hard they work while in the program. The primary goal of Key Visions is to change negative patterns of behavior, thinking and feelings that predispose one toward drug abuse and crime. The program provides a disciplined, regimented daily routine for offenders. Offenders earn advancement in the program's phase system through demonstrative responsible behavior and proper living.
  • Supports a very active and responsive community outreach program, working with families, schools, churches, community and charitable groups. The community outreach program provides services and gifts including but not limited to food, clothing, school supplies, monetary donations, and school presentations. The mission of the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution Community Outreach Program is:
    1. To serve as a responsible and committed member of the Wilmington Community
    2. To protect the community by faithfully performing our duties
    3. To share our time and ourselves with those in need of assistance
    4. To set a positive example for the people we interact with
    5. To show respect for all people