Prison tailor who helped inmates escape is set for release

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The former prison tailor who helped two killers escape a maximum-security New York prison is scheduled for release this week after serving her sentence.

Joyce Mitchell, 55, is serving time at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for helping Richard Matt and David Sweat break out of the state prison in Dannemora in 2015. She provided tools they used to chisel through walls and pipes in a “Shawshank Redemption”-style escape in northern New York.

After a three-week manhunt, Matt was shot dead and Sweat was captured and put behind bars for life. The escape was featured in a 2018 Showtime miniseries, “Escape at Dannemora,” with Patricia Arquette playing the part of Mitchell.

Mitchell was sentenced to 2 1/3 to seven years and was denied parole three times. She was approved for conditional release on Feb. 8 after a prison staff committee determined she had earned time off for good behavior.

The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says Mitchell’s release date is on Saturday, but she’ll likely be released on Thursday so she can meet the requirement of reporting to a parole officer within 24 hours.

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