August 11, 2015
More than a month after the end of a lengthy manhunt for two convicts who escaped Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, new revelations indicate that prison inmates may have received brutal beatings at the hands of correctional staff during the course of their search.
Several inmates who were located on the prison's "honor block" with escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat told The New York Times about the alleged beatings at the hands of corrections officers, who carried out "what seemed like a campaign of retribution against dozens of Clinton inmates."
More than 60 inmates have filed complaints with Prisoners’ Legal Services, an organization that assists indigent prisoners. And 10 members of an inmate council at Clinton signed a letter last month to state corrections officials making similar allegations.
In a series of interviews with The New York Times, several inmates describe violent interrogations in the days after the escape. They describe being choked, punched and threatened with waterboarding. Some of the inmates claim they were denied medical care after the beatings and were told they would face consequences if they talked to a nurse about what had happened or refused to sign a statement saying that the beatings never occurred.
Despite the aggressive tactics to extract information from inmates who knew Matt and Sweat, charges were instead brought against two prison workers accused of aiding the duo in their escape by supplying tools and other contraband.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which facilitated the transfer of dozens of Clinton inmates to other prisons, where they lost earned privileges and employment, responded to The New York Times report with a statement that "any findings of misconduct or abuse against inmates will be punished to the full extent of the law."
Read more at The New York Times.