Mitchell again denied parole

JASON CERONE/P-R PHOTOIn this scene from the Showtime series "Escape from Dannemora," Eric Lange who plays Lyle Mitchell goes to Sansone's restaurant in Malone to meet his wife, Joyce, but she never shows up. The real Joyce Mitchell was just denied parole again.

PLATTSBURGH — Joyce Mitchell, convicted for her role in the notorious prison escape in 2015, will remain behind bars for at least two more years.

On Friday, the State Parole Board denied her release for a second time.

The former Clinton Correctional Facility employee has been imprisoned at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in Westchester County since September 2015 for passing tools to murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat that helped them escape from the Dannemora prison.

The shocking escape in June 2015 led to a three-week manhunt that involved 1,500 law-enforcement officers.

Mitchell was arrested, Matt was shot and killed, and Sweat was shot and captured.


"I'm disappointed in the decision and need to explore Mrs. Mitchell's remedies, carefully and completely," said Malone-based attorney Peter Dumas who represents Joyce Mitchell.

He said her husband, Lyle, "is a client and, more importantly, a friend. I'm truly upset for him." 

Dumas confirmed to the Press-Republican that Mitchell went before the Parole Board at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility on Wednesday and word of the board's decision came Friday.

The Mitchells' son, Tobey, said he and his father are saddened by the news.

"We are both very heartbroken by this, and so isn't she," he said.


Dumas said he had not yet received the reason behind the board's decision to deny Mitchell's parole.

The attorney said they plan to appeal the ruling.

The State Parole Board has also denied the Dickinson Center woman early release following her first appearance in February.

"You present yourself more as a victim than a responsible participant and appear to be emotionally unstable and easily manipulated," the board told her at that time, according to a report issued by the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

According to the DOCCS website, Mitchell is not eligible for parole again until June 2019.

If she is not granted early release, she could remain in prison until June 8, 2022.


The high-profile escape is the subject of a Showtime series, produced by Ben Stiller, that is now filming in Franklin and Clinton counties.

Numerous local residents have roles as extras in "Escape at Dannemora."

The production involves some well-known actions: Patricia Arquette as Mitchell, Benicio del Toro as Matt, Paul Dano as Sweat and Eric Lange as Lyle. 

— Editor Lois Clermont contributed to this report.

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