Prison Worker Arrested For Aiding Escaped New York Convicts

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 15, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

More than a week ago, two convicted murderers broke out of Clinton Correction Facility, a prison in Dannemora, New York.

Now, police believe they had help from Joyce Mitchell, a prison tailor. Authorities long suspected that the two escapees, Richard Matt and David Sweat, had help.

'Shawshank' Escape

Richard Matt and David sweat are convicted murderers. Sweat was sentenced to life without parole for killing a sheriff's deputy in 2002. Matt was convicted of murder, kidnapping, and robbery and must serve 25 years to life. Last week, their prison sentences ended early when the two made a break for it and escaped from the maximum security section of the prison.

According to reports, the two shared side-by-side cells. They used power tools to cut though their cells' concrete and steel walls, followed a catwalk and elaborate maze of pipes into a series of tunnels, and exiting through a manhole outside the prison


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told CNN that he believed the inmates had help. After receiving a tip regarding one of the escapee's relationship with a prison worker, authorities focused their attention on Joyce Mitchell.

Joyce Mitchell worked with inmates at the prison tailoring clothes. Authorities discovered that she may have had a romantic relationship with one of the escaped men. Mitchell is suspected of giving Matt and Sweat the hacksaw blade, drill bits, and other tools the two needed to escape. Mitchell was supposed to be their getaway driver but claims she got cold feet and didn't show up.

Currently, Mitchell was charged with felony promoting prison contraband and misdemeanor criminal facilitation.


If convicted of both charges for bringing unlawful dangerous contraband into the prison and helping the prisoners commit the crime of escaping, Mitchell could be convicted to a minimum of one year or a maximum of eight years in prison.

Mitchell's husband is also being investigated for aiding the prisoners but has not been arrested yet. As for the prisoners, they are still on the run while Mitchell sits in jail for helping them.

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