A Break for Prison Seamstress Who Helped Killers Escape

Joyce Mitchell to go free after 5 years in prison
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2020 7:50 AM CST
A Break for Prison Seamstress Who Helped Killers Escape
This Nov. 6, 2015 file photo shows Joyce Mitchell, accompanied by her attorney Steven Johnston, at the Clinton County Government Center, in Plattsburgh, NY.   (Gabe Dickens/Press-Republican via AP)

The former upstate New York prison worker who helped two convicted murderers escape in 2015 is about to go home. Joyce Mitchell, sentenced to up to seven years in prison for providing material support to Clinton Correctional Facility escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat, is expected to be released from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County on Thursday, reports the Democrat & Chronicle. Matt and Sweat reportedly seduced Mitchell, who worked as a prison seamstress, per ABC News. She smuggled hacksaw blades, chisels, and other tools the men used to cut through their cells, a brick wall, and a steam pipe, officials said.

The men eventually emerged out of a manhole. They were on the run for more than three weeks before a confrontation near the Canadian border. Matt was shot dead while Sweat was shot and recaptured. "If I could take it all back, I would," Mitchell said at her sentencing in September 2015. The 55-year-old has since become the subject of the Ben Stiller-directed Showtime miniseries, Escape at Dannemora. In 2018, she told the New York Post she objected to the series, which includes several sex scenes, because she "never had sex" with either inmate. She added she looked forward to reuniting with her husband and writing a book so "the truth will come out." (Mitchell was denied parole in June.)

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