Home / National News / NY Prison Escape: Gov. Cuomo Orders Probe, Says 'Capturing' Them 'Remains Top Priority'


(ALBANY, N.Y.) — As the search for two men from a New York prison enters its 10th day, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the state’s Inspector General to conduct a probe to determine the factors that may have lead to their escape.

“Capturing these killers and returning them to state custody remains our top priority — however, it’s critically important to examine the circumstances that enabled these inmates to escape in the first place,” Cuomo said Monday in a statement.

More than 800 law enforcement officers have assisted in the search as of Monday, Cuomo’s office said.

Cuomo is instructing Catherine Leahy Scott, who investigates criminal activity like fraud and corruption, to retain the services of an outside expert in corrections and law enforcement to identify the factors that could have led to the breach at the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.

Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from the prison on June 6 and authorities now admit they are unaware of their whereabouts.

The convicts used power tools to cut through the back of their adjacent cells, broke through a brick wall, then cut into a steam pipe until they emerged outside the prison walls through a manhole, authorities said.

Leahy will recommend potential reforms to prevent a similar incident.

Matt was serving 25 years to life in prison after he kidnapped and beat a man to death in 1997. Sweat was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of killing a Broome County sheriff’s deputy in 2002.

Later Monday, Joyce Mitchell, the prison tailoring shop instructor charged with helping two convicts flee, is expected to appear in court. Mitchell, 51, is charged with promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitation for allegedly helping the inmates.

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