Jail for prison worker who helped inmates escape

Joyce Mitchell

A prison worker who helped two convicted murderers escape from a maximum security prison in New York was sentenced to seven years behind bars for providing the inmates with tools used in their daring break-out.

The judge rebuked Joyce Mitchell, 51, who worked as a supervisor at the tailor shop of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, for the terror experienced by the surrounding community during the nearly month-long manhunt for Richard Matt, 49, and David Sweat, 35.

“You did terrible things,” Judge Kevin Ryan told Mitchell as she stood before him shackled, her husband looking on from the front row of the courtroom.

Mitchell, who accepted a deal with prosecutors in which she admitted smuggling hacksaw blades and a screwdriver bit for the June 6 escape, apologised for “the worst mistake I have ever made in my life”.

After a three-week hunt, Matt was fatally shot by a federal agent about 43km from the jail. Two days later Sweat was captured 3km from the Canadian border.


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