By now the news of the prison break of Richard Matt and David Sweat from the Clinton Correctional Facility is widely known. Richard Matt, who was fatally shot during the manhunt, and David Sweat, who has now been re-captured, escaped by using smuggled power tools to saw holes in the steel walls of their cells, clamber down pipes and catwalks, and eventually move through a steam pipe to escape through a sewer manhole outside of the prison walls. For those who may have seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption, this draws interesting parallels to that prison escape.
As discussed in an article on The Whig, authorities believe a similar future attempted escape has been averted. During an investigation into a drug smuggling ring at another center an inmate was discovered with 64 bed sheets neatly tied together. The sheets, which were hidden under the inmate’s sink, would have been enough to scale the 11 stories from his cellblock to the street below and freedom. While the inmate denies any escape plot, there doesn’t appear to be any other reasonable use for a long rope of sheets for an inmate on the 11th floor. Further charges have been pressed against the inmate.
This find came after an ongoing investigation into contraband smuggled into the facility. It was found that one of the corrections officers had a neat operation set up wherein she would be paid by the relatives of one of the inmates to smuggle certain items into the prison. This particular person had been a corrections officer for almost 20 years and there is no mention of how long the smuggling had been taking place.
These finds are interesting as it raises questions on the security of the nations prison where workers at such facilities are themselves accused of smuggling items in and possibly assisting the escape of inmates. This is particularly concerning for inmates convicted of violent crimes. And, it’s not just concerns with the safety of the public…when escapes do happen the resulting manhunt for escaped convicts like Richard Matt and David Sweat can be very expensive for taxpayers, in that particular case to the tune of several million dollars.