Atkins Pushes His Stupidity Up Several Notches

Filed in National by on September 16, 2012

State Representative John Atkins (Asshat-Millsboro), never one to shy away from controversy, is at it again. This time his stupidity endangered the life of his son. In what can only be described as black-out of responsibility, Atkins took his son on a four-hour tour of  a prison where they spent most of their time in the inmate booking and receiving area. Watch the video below as four guards respond to an emergency leaving Atkins, his son and one guard. Oh wait, Atkins heads off to the emergency as well, abandoning his child.

Atkins commented on his decision in the News Journal.

Atkins compared the prison visit to other civic trips he and his son have taken to a Delaware Department of Transportation yard, Legislative Hall and other public agencies.

Do we even have to discuss if this was illegal? Atkins’ actions here pale in comparison with normal human stupidity.

Thanks to chlorophil for his late-night comment.


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Comments (32)

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  1. puck says:

    Apparently the opportunity to possibly participate in a twelve-on-one beatdown was just too tempting.

  2. SussexWatcher says:

    No, it wasn’t illegal. Against DOC policy, perhaps, but nothing in the article indicates any law was broken. Stupid? Yes, but voters seem used to John doing stupid stuff.

    I would say that I don’t understand why the News Journal didn’t black out the boy’s face and felt the need to include his name. There’s no need to highlight the kid in that way.

    I also fail to understand why it didn’t mention that Atkins’ wife works for DOC. That would seem to be important information for providing context – and is to me the more scandalous thing, that a lawmaker can head a committee supposed to provide oversight to an agency his wife works for.

  3. Jason330 says:

    This is sick on many levels. I can’t imagine the twisted “civics” lesson Atkins intended to impart. “Son, these are the cages we use to keep garbage off the streets.”

    That Atkins himself would have been in one of those cages without his golden license plate probably never came up.

  4. Delaware Dem says:

    I am loathe to defend Atkins, but I don’t see anything evil here or necessarily stupid. And it is not sick. The boy seems to be in the 10-12 year old range, old enough in my opinion to understand the civics lesson. Look, his mother works for DOC, and so please explain to me how this is any different than a “Take my child to work” day. Atkins and his son were not in any dangerous part of the prison, unless you consider the entire premises to be dangerous.

    Finally, I do not think we should be criticizing Atkins’ parenting here. Sure, this might not be a decision you would make, a lesson you would teach, but who are we to tell Atkins how to raise his child regarding something that is rather trivial?

  5. nemski says:

    Obviously Delaware Dem has never watched Oz.

  6. nemski says:

    Or maybe Delaware Dem thinks prison is more like this movie.

  7. Charlotte says:

    Sam Lathem is a scumbag and a liar.
    He needs to step down.

  8. SussexWatcher says:

    Hello, Charlotte. What rock did you crawl out from under this morning, and why are you babbling about a union heavy in an Atkins thread? Is there some connection we don’t know about? Have a nice day.

  9. SussexAnon says:


  10. JPconnorjr says:

    Del Dem that area of SCI has one og the highest potential for sudden explosive violence as any part of the facility . New inmates come in angry, disoriented, drunk , stoned or all of the above. There is a lot of open area that inmates traverse unrestrained. It is NO place for an untrained or escorted adult and it is decidedly no place for a child. The appropriateness of what the child may experience is another matter.

  11. Coal says:

    Hey, where is the Ethics Committee,,,they have been quick on the B’s maybe they should go alphabetical and start with the A’s. Let’s see if I understand this, his wife works (is connected ) to the Agency he is suppose to be “watching” and his wife’s father ( is connected )by using prison labor (who burned tires illegally) and who doesn’t know he is suppose to keep records, (connected) to the person who is suppose to have oversight of the agency and now he has brought his own child into this connection..Are we in Louisiana? i think there is a song, the neck bone is connected to the, what bone, so they are all connected which leads to a skeleton in the closet. Look deeper News Journal, there be more connection.

    By the way, i do think that is an issue of endangerment to a minor child. What is the KIDS department take on this? or have then been asked. ??????…

  12. V says:

    Maybe a misuse of position to get a personal tour? but I don’t really see a problem with this either. I’ve toured two facilities like that (one in Elkton for an intership where we talked to actual inmates and another recently with a class that was actually two separate DE juvenile facilities). It was totally fine.

    You might not take your kid, that’s totally fine. But it isn’t like there aren’t children going to visiting hours in this facility every day.

  13. JJ says:

    The Journal said this visit was approved by the warden. Seems like the SCI warden and DOC should be censured or suspended if they allowed this and it was unsafe. Much the same way DOC should be accountable for 23 years of no records for inmate labor…..Carl Danberg is the guy at the top of DOC. The focus should be on DOC and how its being run..if they let Reps. Atkins, Charlie West and businessmen in Sussex use inmate labor, then lets blame DOC for their ridiculous policies and poor recordkeeping…DOC managment has the ultimate power here and looks like unprofessional management at DOC. Following prison health care debacle years back , not a real shocker…..

  14. Jpconnorjr says:

    Just as an aside the story indicates that the visit was on a Friday evening. Friday is a very busy day for booking and receiving as it is sentencing day in superior court . It can take will into the evening to get everybody processed.

  15. Coal says:

    There are children visiting, I have visited a friend in prison, we go into a room with other visitors, we sit at a table and we visit. they can never leave their parent…didn’t he go with the guards during a disturbance and leave his son. I wouldn’t have had to wait for the press to kill me,my spouse would have. But Atkins, thinks he is above the law, and if nothing comes from this, maybe he is..

  16. Coal says:

    Endangering the Welfare of a Child

    The state of Delaware makes it a crime to put a child in harm’s way, either in imminent physical danger or by subjecting the child to emotional or psychological harm. The criminal charges are a high level misdemeanor or felony with the possibility of jail time as well as a permanent listing on the state’s Child.

    Did Atkins not put his child in harm’s way?

  17. Geezer says:

    Real simple here. What would happen if you or I called and told the warden that we wanted to come over Friday night to show a child the prison? If Atkins was treated any differently than you or I would be, then whatever took place was wrong.


  18. Thank you, Delaware Dem & V for being the voices of reason.

    We criticize the RWNJs for being reactionary. We shouldn’t be knee-jerk reactionaries ourselves. Atkins is a proven dumbass, but he isn’t guilty of endangering the welfare of a child based on the facts as reported by TNJ. Grow up, people.

  19. liberalgeek says:

    Yeah, this is an over-reaction, and frankly judgmental. Lots of parent take their kids place that other parents might feel are too dangerous. But this is where Atkins’ wife works (and where John gets his tire-burning labor). Is it perfectly safe? Nope. And neither is a walk outside of a resort in Jamaica, which I did with my son.

    There is so much to beat Atkins with, that resorting to stupid stuff just makes him look like a victim. And that’s the LAST thing we need.

  20. Random says:

    My high school criminal justice class used to take trips to SCI all the time and witness exactly what Rep. Atkins and his son did, most of the time with just one prison guard. This is no big deal and was probably pretty educational for his son. The News Journal is grasping at straws here.

  21. Random says:

    “Real simple here. What would happen if you or I called and told the warden that we wanted to come over Friday night to show a child the prison? If Atkins was treated any differently than you or I would be, then whatever took place was wrong.


    Legislators, the governor, and a select others are allowed to take tours of the facility. So, no, it isn’t wrong if he was treated differently.

  22. Steve Newton says:

    I’ve read the article and the comments, and–frankly–with the exception of running along after the guards to see the beat-down (and who knows who among us might not have done that in the heat of the moment), I don’t see anything wrong here.

    My son’s Cub Scout troops visited Troop 6 years ago and watched them process arrested suspects, and went through the holding cells. I take my son mountain climbing.

    For nemski to suggest that he endangered the life of his son is inane and irresponsible.

  23. SussexWatcher says:

    I’ve read the story several times now, and have come back each time confused anew about what the story is about. Is it about Atkins being stupid? Atkins getting special privileges? DOC screwing up? DOC granting special privileges?

    It doesn’t appear that either of the writers knew.

  24. Flora Kitty says:

    This is kind of overblown. I’m no fan of Atkins,but there are many more stupid people in Sussex (both of the native and import models) than Atkins. That said Jeff Christopher or Bodenweiser should drop into SCI and stay for a few days in general population.

  25. Linda says:

    I interpreted his actions as pure and simple “arrogance”. Almost like he was bringing his son to something entertaining . . . given his history and someone’s reference to Louisiana (referring to tire burning incident) it was almost like he was sizing up his free labor market. Using the excuse that his wife worked for DOC is not plausible because I guarantee my spouse would not be allowed access to my work without me being present NO WAY!!!!

  26. Geezer says:

    “Legislators, the governor, and a select others are allowed to take tours of the facility. So, no, it isn’t wrong if he was treated differently.”

    So if he didn’t break any rules, where’s the foul? That said, I don’t think the rules were set up so legislators could take their children on tours of prisons.

  27. SussexDem40 says:

    I don’t really see the big issue here. John and his son had pizza with some prison guards. I imagine the News Journal will next complain that John endangered his son by letting him use a gun – while they were hunting!!!!

  28. Geezer says:

    After hearing from a corrections officer, it seems an important detail was left out of the News Journal story: Nobody under 21 is supposed to be in there. So, while Atkins has privileges because of his position in the legislature, that privilege does not extend to his under-21 children.

  29. liberalgeek says:

    Ah, that is an important distinction. That point must not have made it past the editor (Cut 25 more words! Diver Chevrolet needs another inch!).

  30. walt says:

    And News Journal timed the article to come out right after primaries. Give me a break. Atkins was just trying to show the boy what’s going to happen if he asses-up and is not a legislator.

  31. Jason330 says:

    I don’t known about Maureen Milford but Jonathan Starkey isn’t exactly known for providing details.

  32. Jason330 says:

    DE GOP tweet takes a swipe at Johnny Law:

    degop Some dads take their sons little league or the car show. Democrat John takes his kid to visit prisons for fun
    yesterday · reply · retweet · favorite

    What is it with Atkins and corrections? Let’s not forget that when Atkins flashed his golden license plate to get out of being locked up for drunk driving he was wearing orange prison jump suit on his was home from a Halloween costume party hosted by an Ocean City bar.