New York Prison Escape: Inmates Claim They Were Abused

A New York prison escape, which led to an extensive manhunt, is still gaining national attention. Although authorities eventually located the escapees, other inmates claim they were abused by guards amid the investigation.

On June 6, convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped the Clinton Correctional Center in the Village of Dannemora, New York. As reported by Fox News, the subsequent search, which lasted 23 days, involved nearly 1,200 law enforcement officials.

On June 27, Richard W. Matt was shot and killed approximately 30 miles from the correctional facility. On June 28, David Sweat was also located and shot. Although he was seriously wounded, he survived the shooting and was later transferred to the Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York.

Amid the investigation into the New York prison escape and the inmates’ whereabouts, several inmates claim they were subjected to mental and physical abuse.

As reported by the New York Times, a majority of the alleged abuse was confined to inmates on the “honor block” — where Matt and Sweat were housed prior to their escape.

Inmate Patrick Alexander said he was a specific target, as he was housed in a cell adjacent to the escapees. In a recent interview, Alexander said the abuse was carried out by three guards — who have not been identified, as they were not wearing their name badges.

Following the escape, the guards reportedly removed Alexander from his cell, placed him in a janitorial closet, and proceeded to interrogate him about the missing men.

During the interrogation, Alexander was reportedly subjected to physical abuse — which included being beaten and having a plastic bag placed over his head. He also claims one of the guards “threatened to waterboard him.”

Alexander’s story prompted the New York Times to conduct their own investigation into the allegations of abuse. After receiving numerous letters and conducting extensive interviews, the news agency concluded several inmates shared Alexander’s experience.

Following the New York prison escape, Clinton Correctional Center guards reportedly “carried out what seemed like a campaign of retribution against dozens of Clinton inmates… inmates described a strikingly similar catalog of abuses, including being beaten while handcuffed, choked and slammed against cell bars and walls.”

A total of 60 Clinton Correctional Center inmates filed formal complaints of abuse with New York’s Prisoners’ Legal Services.

When questioned about the complaints, a representative with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision confirmed the allegations are currently under investigation and were “referred to the state inspector general.”

Although the guards reportedly targeted inmates to gain information about the New York prison escape, authorities later determined several guards actually assisted Richard Matt and David Sweat in their escape.

Amid an official investigation into the New York prison escape, at least nine guards were suspended and numerous administrators were terminated.

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