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The Latest: NAACP wants to help resolve problems at prison

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) — The Latest on a hostage situation and death of a guard at a Delaware prison (all times local):

7:25 a.m.

The Delaware State Conference of the NAACP wants to work with state correction officials to “resolve persistent issues” highlighted by the demands of inmates who took four corrections workers hostage at the state’s largest prison.

In a statement released late Thursday, C. Linwood Jackson, the president of the state’s conference of branches, says prayers go out to the family of Sgt. Steven Floyd, who was killed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Jackson says as the investigation identifies the perpetrators, their motives and the circumstances that led to the situation, they hope policies and procedures can be put in place to protect staff and address inmates’ humanitarian and mental health concerns.

He says based on reports their concerns “identify overcrowding, understaffed shifts and excessive use of solitary confinement, as possible root causes of the action taken by the prisoners.”

3:15 a.m.

A corrections union official says the guard killed at Delaware’s largest prison saved his colleagues’ lives by warning them that inmates had set a trap.

Union President Geoffrey Klopp says that after inmates forced Sgt. Steven Floyd into a closet, the 47-year-old called out to warn other officers coming to his aid. Klopp says Floyd “absolutely” saved lives.

Floyd was found dead early Thursday after authorities used a backhoe to smash through a barricade of footlockers and end a nearly 20-hour hostage standoff at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Floyd was a 16-year veteran with the prison and is the first corrections officer in Delaware to be killed. Klopp said Floyd went the “extra mile for any human being he could help.”