New York Prison Worker Sentenced To Up To 7 Years For Aiding Escape

Gurard at NY State Department of Corrections
A Guard from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision directs traffic in front of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York on June 13, 2015. The two prisoners David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped the maximum-security prison in Dannemora, early on June 6 and have not bee seen since. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo

PLATTSBURGH , N.Y., Sept. 28 (UPI) — Joyce Mitchell, an upstate New York prison worker who aided in the escape of two inmates in June, was sentenced up to seven years in prison Monday.

A Clinton County Court judge in Plattsburgh, N.Y., sentenced Mitchell, 51, to one year imprisonment for facilitating criminal activity, and two-and-one-third to seven years for promoting prison contraband. She pleaded guilty to those offenses in June.

At her arraignment she admitted smuggling tools into the Dannemora, N.Y., maximum security prison to aid in the escape of David Sweat and Richard Matt, who broke out June 6. Mitchell was supposed to be the driver of the getaway car, but instead sought hospital treatment for an anxiety attack the night before the escape.

Matt was shot and killed June 26 and Sweat was taken into custody June 28 after a massive manhunt spanning the state.

Mitchell cried at her sentencing Monday, saying “If I could take it all back I would. I can’t begin to explain how sorry I am for all this. I am 51 years old. And this is by far the worst mistake I have ever made in my life. I live with regret every day and will for the rest of my life.”

She added she has been receiving mental help and counselling.

Mitchell also received fines of $5,000 and $1,000, and will attend a restitution hearing Nov. 6.


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