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Prison Tailor Who Helped Convicts Escape 'Shawshank Redemption' Style Released From Prison

Joyce Mitchell snuck tools to two convicted murderers while working as a prison tailor, helping them break out of the New York prison in 2015. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Joyce Mitchell Was Released From Prison

A New York woman who helped two convicted murders flee prison in a “Shawshank Redemption” style escape in 2015 was released from prison last week after serving time for her role in the crime.

Joyce Mitchell, 55, was released from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility Thursday, according to a statement from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision obtained by Oxygen.com.

She will remain on parole until June 8, 2022.

The state Board of Parole had denied Mitchell’s three previous attempts at early release, but the former prison tailor was granted conditional release in December for good behavior, WNBC reports.

Mitchell had been working as a prison tailor at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora when she met inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat.

Both men were serving life sentences for murder, according to The New York Post.

Investigators have said Mitchell, who was married, had sexual contact with Matt before agreeing to give the two men a drill and hacksaw, NBC News reports.

The convicts used the tools to saw their way through their cells and through underground pipes, allowing them to escape from the prison on June 6, 2015.

The escape sparked a three-week manhunt and led to fatal consequences for one of the escaped inmates.

Matt was shot dead by law enforcement officers during the pursuit.

Sweat was captured two days later near the Canadian border. He was shot by a state trooper during his capture and was eventually returned to prison, where he is serving a life sentence.

The bold break-out inspired the Showtime 2018 miniseries “Escape at Dannemora” with Patricia Arquette playing Mitchell in the show.

For her role in the crime, Mitchell was sentenced to 2 1/3 to seven years behind bars.

Shortly after her release, Mitchell was spotted in her hometown of Dickinson Center on Saturday with her husband, Lyle Mitchell, according to the Press-Republican.

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