New York prisoners punished with beatings after inmates escaped

Clinton Correctional Facility, the prison which Richard W. Matt and David Sweat escaped, saw prisoners punished with beatings, solitary confinement and loss of privileges, according to the New York Times.

Although there has been no evidence of other inmates helping the two escape, prison guards are being accused of seeking retaliation.

It seems the guards targeted inmates also housed on the “honor block”, where Matt and Sweat lived. Inmates can be moved to the honor block after demonstrating good behavior.

“For days after the June prison break, corrections officers carried out what seemed like a campaign of retribution against dozens of Clinton inmates, particularly those on the honor block, an investigation by The New York Times found. In letters reviewed by The Times, as well as prison interviews, inmates described a strikingly similar catalog of abuses, including being beaten while handcuffed, choked and slammed against cell bars and walls,” said an article in The New York Times.

Although some guards may have been seeking revenge for damage to their reputation, another hypothesis holds that the guards were forcefully seeking information about the escape, according to Business Insider.

“Where are they going? What did you hear? How much are they paying you to keep your mouth shut?” one guard allegedly asked inmate Patrick Alexander, while holding him up against a wall by his throat.

The prison seamstress, Joyce Mitchell, later admitted to helping Matt and Sweat escape in the hopes that they would kill her husband.

In total, 12 prison employees were placed on administrative leave, reports ABC News.
[New York Times] [Business Insider] [ABC News] [NBC News] [Photo courtesy Chris Wattie/Reuters]