It is being reported on November 6, 2015 that Joyce Mitchell, the former prison seamstress who helped two convicted murderers escape a New York State prison last June has been ordered to pay $80,000 in damages.
Nicholas Evanovich, the assistant District Attorney of Clinton County said that the money would be used to repair the damage done to the prison infrastructure caused by the two prisoners in their escape. Mitchell smuggled tools to inmates Richard W. Matt and David Sweat. She brought them hacksaw blades and other tools to cut through the pipes and walls. She was also supposed to be their getaway driver but she backed out at the last minute.
The two prisoners cut a hole through their cell wall and in a steam pipe as well as damaging bricks in the prison walls when they broke out. They sparked a nationwide manhunt which lasted for three weeks. The $80,000 that Mitchell must pay is only a small fraction of the total cost of the three week search for the felons. “New York state had incurred $23 million in overtime costs related to the manhunt, and ‘no doubt millions of dollars more.'” On June 26, 2015 Richard Matt was shot dead by border police and David Sweat was apprehended alive two days later.
In July Mitchell was sentenced “up to seven years for first-degree promoting prison contraband, a felony, and a concurrent year for fourth-degree misdemeanor criminal facilitation.”
The 51-year-old grandmother did not make any statements in her latest court appearance on Friday November 6, 2015, which lasted about 15 minutes. Her husband was present for the proceedings but they did not speak to each other.
“She is serving her sentence at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County.” No timetable was given for when she had to pay the restitution to the state.