Joyce Mitchell denied parole

Joyce Mitchell

PLATTSBURGH — The woman who helped the inmates at the center of the infamous 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape has again been denied parole.

The Parole Board shot down Joyce Mitchell’s third attempt at parole following an interview June 5, according to the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Her next possible parole date will be in June 2021.

Mitchell, 55, was sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison for her role in aiding convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat, who led authorities on a three-week-long manhunt that cost the state over $23 million.

The Dickinson Center resident, who was a supervisor in the prison's tailor shop, provided tools, which the inmates used to bust out of the maximum-security prison.

She has been serving her sentence in Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and had been denied parole previously, in February and August of 2017.


The manhunt to catch Sweat and Matt traversed numerous towns in Clinton and Franklin counties before Matt was shot and killed outside Malone and Sweat was shot and apprehended in Constable.

Hundreds of law-enforcement officers from various levels of local police, State Police, Border Patrol, Corrections Emergency Response Teams and forest rangers took part in the search, a monetary and physical expense that has not been forgotten.

"The Parole Board has taken everything into account and made a decision that is in the best interest of the public," Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill said Thursday.

"Although I don’t always agree with some of their decisions to grant parole to certain individuals, I cannot disagree with this decision.

"The North Country was thrown into turmoil and lived in fear for three weeks just four years ago. That situation was a direct result of intentional actions taken by Joyce Mitchell."

Sweat is serving time at Auburn Correctional Facility after stints at Five Points and Attica.


Mitchell's son, Tobey, said of his mother's parole denial that "we are deeply saddened that she was once again denied. We love her and miss her and just want her home.”

Resistance to early parole for Mitchell is strong in the North Country.

A recent query on the Press-Republican Facebook page about whether she should be granted parole brought a deluge of responses.

Here's a sampling:

Eunice LeClair: "I think she should serve her whole sentence. The terror bestowed upon the people of Dannemora and surrounding towns was something she could have lessened, but chose not to. Her sentence should not be lessened either."

Eugene Garrant: "She should have to spend the (rest) of her life in jail and definitely not be entitled to any compensation or pension payments."

Elizabeth Rowe: "No, she needs to be held accountable for her actions and that means doing her whole sentence!"

Connie A. Ayotte: "She should have had a lot more time to serve than she does. I say she does right up to the minute."

ReGena Corvelli: "How long was our lives on hold, scared to go anywhere, stopped and cars searched, parents fearing for their children safety and I see posts about HER needing help?? Bull crap. Full sentence and PAY THE STATE what she owes."

Tim Neverett: "She deserves nothing and should finish every last minute of time she got and then some. There was more than her involved that should behind bars too!"

John Smith: "She will be denied again and will have to serve her sentence. Once she gets out, she should seek help because what she did was very bad."

Nancy Breen Dupras: "I don't think it will happen, her crime caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. This is too fresh in everyone's mind. She would probably have a better chance if she had a plan to leave the area when paroled."

Kathrine Venne: "I'm going to be hated for this but I think people should educate themselves on Narcissists. Narcissists are highly effective Predators. It doesn't matter these monsters even target LAW ENFORCEMENT and I believe she needs help, no prison. She was targeted and preyed on."

Buffy Mero Little: "Why would she want to get out?? Too many people that would make her life a living Hell. She should stay right where she is. Oh! And tack on a few more years."

Susan Pellerin Wilson: "The (too short) sentence she received was a travesty of justice to begin with, she should at least be made to serve what she did get in its entirety!"

Sabrina Brouillette: "She honestly should serve her whole sentence. This is ridiculous on how they are even thinking about parole...she helped 2 murderers escape from prison."

JoAnn Layhee: "She should serve the full time for what she did, I think she got off with a light sentencing, look at what some drug dealers get. She would not be in a prison cell today if she had picked those two up as planned because they would have killed her like they had killed others. I wonder if she has started to pay the state back any money."

Shari Valenze St Louis: "She owes us a lot of money,she has more time to spend in jail!"

Jesse James Carpenter: "She knew what she was doing! No sympathy for her."

Debra LavareDebra Lavare: "And she is STILL costing tax payers thousands of dollars sitting in prison...can't win."

Mary Jane Elmer: "Like the rest of you, I believe she should serve the whole sentence. Some think the sentence was too short, but (District Attorney) Andrew Wylie's hands were tied here, because the world was, literally, watching him. When that mini-series aired, at the end, it stated that she'd already been denied parole. One thing's for certain. When she does get out, she's gonna have to change her name and move far, far away."

Bob Duffy: "It is a wonder the escapees didn’t kill some people, which would been on her shoulders."

Rodney J Parrott Jr: "Where's the fines and all that gonna come from? The state wanted time, money, and mostly she in the other inmates put this community in great danger. So no way should she get out. Full time no parole or pay the fines and then maybe think about it in few years."

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— Jason Cerone contributed to this report.