Prison worker planned to help escaped inmates

Posted at 8:57 AM, Jun 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-10 10:01:03-04

A 51-year-old woman who worked in the Clinton Correctional Facility's tailor shop has admitted she planned to help two men who escaped the prison, but said she backed out.

Joyce Mitchell has been a supervisor at the prison for eight years and worked with the two inmates, Richard Matt and David Sweat. The two possibly had access to power tools in the tailor shop that they used in their elaborate escape, authorities said.

Investigators believe Mitchell may have fallen for one of the escapees, who were discovered missing from the prison cells in the maximum security portion of the prison at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, June 6.

A retired detective who helped put Matt away in 1997 told the New York Post "when he's cleaned up, he's very handsome, and in all frankness, very well-endowed. He gets girlfriends any place he goes."

Mitchell told investigators she was going to drive the get-away car, but got cold feet and did not aid in the inmates' escape. The day they left the prison, she checked into a hospital for a panic attack.

Mitchell's son in an interview said people should wait before passing judgment on her. One news report indicates a law enforcement official connected to the case said calls from Mitchell's mobile phone were made to possible contacts of the inmates.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said there is a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrests of Matt and Sweat.