Joyce Mitchell Interview: Former Prison Worker Reveals Why She Helped Inmates Escape

Jennifer Deutschmann - Author

Oct. 28 2016, Updated 6:27 a.m. ET

In a recent interview, Joyce Mitchell revealed why she assisted two inmates in their escape from a maximum security prison. On June 6, Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility. Although she admittedly provided the inmates with tools, Mitchell insists she was easily influenced, as she was suffering from depression.

As reported by CNN, Joyce Mitchell met Richard Matt and David Sweat in the facility’s tailor shop, where she was employed as a seamstress. According to Mitchell, she and Matt became close friends as he “treated [her] with respect” and “made [her] feel special.”

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Within weeks of their first meeting, Matt encouraged Mitchell to form a relationship with his daughter, Jamie. The former prison employee admitted calling Jamie on numerous occasions to discuss her father’s artwork and his health concerns.

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Mitchell said she later agreed to provide Matt with food and other gifts in exchange for a portrait of her children. As he agreed to paint the portrait, the former prison employee subsequently provided the inmate numerous gifts — including boxing gloves, cookies, and “two pairs of glasses with lights on them.”

According to Mitchell, her relationship with Matt turned violent in April 2015. In her own words, the former prison employee said she did not report the sexual abuse as she “was scared for [her]husband, who also works in the facility.”

During a police interview, Joyce Mitchell admitted she knew Richard Matt and David Sweat were digging a tunnel. However, she continued to provide them with tools to assist in their escape.

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“I later found out that (Sweat and Matt) had cut a hole in the wall and were going down into the pipes. They were using them to get out through the pipe system. Inmate Matt told me they were getting out and we were all going to be together.”

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According to Mitchell, she was expected to meet Matt and Sweat following their escape.

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During interrogation, the former prison employee admitted she agreed to provide the inmates with a shotgun on the day of their escape. She was also expected to transport the men away from the prison.

Despite her earlier promises, Mitchell said she changed her mind — as she feared for her husband’s life. The former prison seamstress claims Matt and Sweat planned to kill her husband following their escape.

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In a recent interview with Matt Lauer, Mitchell said she was easily influenced by the inmates — as she was severely depressed.

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“I was going through a point in my life — a lot of people go through depression… I just got in over my head. And I couldn’t get out. And I couldn’t tell anybody… There’s nobody you can tell.”

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As reported by Today, Joyce Mitchell’s interview will be aired during a two-part Dateline special, which is scheduled to air on September 18 and September 19.

[Image via WMUR]


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