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Seamstress Serving Time In Westchester For Prison Break Denied Parole Again

Joyce Mitchell, who is incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for helping two upstate convicted murderers escape from priso, was denied parole for a second time.
Joyce Mitchell, who is incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for helping two upstate convicted murderers escape from priso, was denied parole for a second time. Photo Credit: New York State Police
Convicted murderers Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat, escaped from an upstate prison in 2015 with the help of Joyce Mitchell, who is now incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills.
Convicted murderers Richard Matt, left, and David Sweat, escaped from an upstate prison in 2015 with the help of Joyce Mitchell, who is now incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills. Photo Credit: New York State Police

The former prison seamstress who helped two convicted murderers escape from an upstate prison in a highly publicized event has been denied parole a second time and must remain behind bars at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Northern Westchester.

Joyce Mitchell, 52, pleaded guilty in 2015 to smuggling the hacksaws and other tools that convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt used to flee the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

Mitchell was sentenced to up to seven years in prison in September 2015.

The State Parole Board's decision to again deny parole means she'll spend at least another two years behind bars.

She was earlier denied parole in February of this year. At that time, the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision told Mitchell: "You present yourself more as a victim than a responsible participant and appear to be emotionally unstable and easily manipulated."

Matt was shot and killed by authorities while on the lam and Sweat was also shot but surviving and sent back to prison. The massive manhunt that ensued after they escaped cost the state millions of dollars in overtime alone.

Mitchell, who reportedly had a relationship with both men, got seven years for promoting prison contraband, a felony, and another year for criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor.

Mitchell, a married woman, was supposed to have been the getaway driver, but chickened out, according to multiple accounts.

The drama is now the subject of a Showtime series being directed by Chappaqua resident Ben Stiller called "Escape from Dannemora." Actress Patricia Arquette plays Mitchell.

Mitchell is not eligible for parole again until June 2019 and could remain in prison until June 8, 2022 if she is not granted early release.

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