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Prison Employee in New York Escape Charged
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Joyce Mitchell

Summary: Two employees have been charged in the escape of two convicted murderers last month from a New York correctional facility.

The female prison guard that aided in the escape of two prison inmates last month plead guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor charge. Inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat, both convicted murderers escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6. Joyce Mitchell will face up to seven years in prison for her role is supplying contraband that aided in their escape.


Mitchell’s plea deal will protect her from facing charges of sexual assault or rape from the allegations that she has a sexual relationship with either inmate. Her attorney Stephen Johnston told the press that she deeply regrets her involvement.

Mitchell worked in the prison’s tailor shop as the training supervisor. Her felony charge is for promoting prison contraband with the misdemeanor charge being for criminal facilitation. She has been accused of sneaking a hacksaw blade and screwdriver bit into the prison to give to the inmates. They cut through the steel walls of their cell, climbed down a catwalk and through a steam pipe to emerge from a manhole outside the prison in New York. Mitchell was supposed to be the driver of their getaway car.

Matt was able to manipulate Mitchell by making her feel good about herself. She was swept off her feet until she remembered that he was a murderer. On the day she was supposed to drive the getaway car, she had checked herself into a hospital for a panic attack.

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Mitchell will cooperate with the investigation, under conditions of her plea deal. Johnston said that she is anxious to get this case over with so she can move on. Another prison employee, Gene Palmer, will also face charges for helping give contraband to inmates. The other prison employees that were placed on leave after the escape should not face any charges.

Matt was fatally shot 20 days after their escape by a federal agent. Sweat was captured by 22 days after their escape only two miles from the Canadian border. Sweat was already serving life in prison without parole so his escape could land him in restricted housing where he is confined to his cell 23 hours a day.





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