More than 60 inmates were viciously beaten and abused by guards in a New York state prison after the daring escape of two convicted killers in June, according to a new report.
Prison officers carried out a campaign of retribution against dozens of inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility even though no prisoners have yet been linked to the jailbreak, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
Prisoners described "being beaten while handcuffed, choked, and slammed against cell bars and walls," the newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing interviews with inmates and complaint letters to state authorities.
The inmates reported that prison officers used other brutal tactics as well, including covering their heads with plastic bags and threatening to waterboard them and were told they would be killed if they reported the abuses
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said Tuesday it had been investigating for several weeks the allegations of prisoner abuse. “Any findings of misconduct or abuse against inmates will be punished to the full extent of the law,” it said.
Despite the abuse, it is prison employees who have been implicated in the June 6 escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat.
One female employee (pictured below) has pleaded guilty to aiding the escape while another faces criminal charges. Nine officers have also been suspended and the leadership of the prison has been replaced.
Matt, 49, and Sweat, 35, broke through their cell walls, cut through steel pipes and emerged through a manhole outside the prison walls.
Three weeks after they escaped from the maximum-security facility, Matt was shot and killed by police. Sweat was shot, injured and captured two days later. He is back in prison.