Prison Seamstress Charged in Escape

Joyce Mitchell accused of helping Richard Matt and David Sweat go free
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2015 5:26 PM CDT
Prison Seamstress Charged in Escape
Law enforcement officers walk along a road near Dannemora, NY, Friday.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A prison employee accused of helping two inmates escape now might end up being a convicted felon herself. Police today charged Joyce Mitchell, 51, with promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitation, reports CNN. It's still not clear exactly how she might have helped—CNN describes it as "providing material assistance"—but authorities may sort that out at a later news conference.

Various reports have suggested she provided power tools or some other kind of equipment, let them use her phone, and even arranged to pick them up before backing out at the last minute. Mitchell worked as an instructor in the prison tailor shop at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, notes AP, and she allegedly befriended both Richard Matt and David Sweat there. Her husband is an industrial training supervisor at the same prison. Meanwhile, the search goes on in northern New York, with about 800 officers involved in the hunt. (More escape stories.)

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