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State denies parole for prison worker Joyce Mitchell

State denies parole for prison worker Joyce Mitchell
Posted at 1:15 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 13:15:09-05

The New York State Board of Parole has denied parole for Joyce Mitchell, the prison tailor who helped convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in 2015.

In its unanimous decision written directly to Mitchell, the board said "You present yourself more as a victim than a responsible participant and appear to be emotionally unstable and easily manipulated."

While acknowledging letters of support from her husband and son asking for parole to be granted, the board said "if released at this time your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and... there is a reasonable probability that you would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law."

Mitchell was sentenced in September 2015 to serve two and one-third to seven years behind bars for helping Matt and Sweat break out of the maximum-security prison. She had developed relationships with both men.

The escape triggered the largest manhunt in state history. Matt, who was serving a life sentence for the murder of North Tonawanda businessmen William Rickerson in 1997, was shot and killed by a border patrol officer after three weeks on the run. Sweat was shot but survived.

Mitchell will be eligible for parole again later this year.