Escaped NY Inmates May Have Had Help From Contractors, Expert Says


The escape of two prisoners at New York State’s 150-year-old Clinton Correctional Facility is a rare event, says USA Today. The annual total of New York escapees dropped from 29 in 1983 to one in 2013, even as the state’s prison population grew 75 percent from 30,510 to 53,550. “It’s very rare — this happens very infrequently, which is why it’s such a story,” said Martin Horn of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He said U.S. prisons “may not do a great job on everything, but they do a pretty good job of holding on to the prisoners.”

Kevin Tamez of MPM Group, a consulting firm near Philadelphia that does corrections work, said the escapees had outside help, possibly from a contractor. He said such lapses could become more common as the prison system ages. Tamez predicted an investigation would find an understaffed prison and lax oversight of contractors. “The questions are going to be extremely embarrassing to answer,” he said. “The ball was dropped a couple of places: Nobody heard anything, nobody saw a guy bringing a (power) saw into a cell.” Horn said prisons like Clinton face a dilemma because they hold mostly inmates serving life terms. Such prisoners “have nothing to lose from trying to escape,” he said. “There’s every incentive for them to try and try again — and try again.”

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