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Two New York Inmates Escape–“Shawshank Redemption”?



Photo-New York State Governor’s Office


Two dangerous inmates, both convicted of murder, escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York, a maximum security prison, sometime between Friday night and early Saturday morning, June 6. The two men, David Sweat and Richard W. Matt, were convicted of separate violent crimes. David Sweat, 35, was serving a conviction of life without parole and Richard Matt, 49, was serving a sentence of 25 years to life with no possibility of parole before 2032. Both men were experienced New York State inmates.

Some reporters have called this escape reminiscent of the famous prison escape movie, “The Shawshank Redemption.”The comparison is not realistic, although both escapes involved carving their way out of their prison cells into mechanical corridors of their prisons, after leaving dummies on their prison bunks.

In the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption,” Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, did not have any help from the prison guards or civilian workers at his prison. In our real life escape in New York, there is no doubt that the two inmates had help from prison civilian employees and/or prison guards.

We do not yet have all of the facts about the notorious escape by Sweat and Matt from  the Clinton Correctional Facility. However, we do know from statements from prison officials and the New York governor’s office that the two men used power tools to hack their way out of their steel cells into the mechanical corridors of the prison. Then, the men broke through a brick wall and crawled through pipes and tunnels to a manhole. They cut through a steel chain and lock to open a manhole. The manhole was located 400 feet from the prison wall and led into a public street. As of June 9th, both inmates have eluded the police.

Now all of the carving, hacking, and cutting involved power tools, and a detailed map of the prison mechanical corridors. Since inmates are not provided such necessaries, one can argue reasonably that help was given to Matt and Sweat by prison civilian employees and/or prison guards. A source has told CNN that a prison female civilian employee supposedly had planned to pick up the two inmates on the outside, but decided not to at the last minute. Keep in mind that the Clinton Correctional Facility was opened in 1845. Until June 5, 2015, no one has ever escaped from the famous prison known as “Little Siberia.”

Unlike the Shawshank movie,help was given by prison civilian employees and/or prison guards.The question now—Who Helped?

By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of






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