World & Nation

New York prison officials put on leave amid review into inmates’ escape

Escape From Dannemora

Security staff members and administrators at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., have been placed on administrative leave.  

(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

Twelve employees, including administrators and nine security workers, have been placed on administrative leave at upstate New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility as part of an ongoing review into the escape of two inmates from the maximum security prison.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced that the 12 employees have been relieved of their duties at the prison in Dannemora, near the Canadian border.

None of the 12 were named, but prison Superintendent Steven Racette and Deputy Superintendent Stephen Brown were reportedly among those placed on leave.

The department would not discuss the status of the investigation, but said in a statement, “Assistant Commissioner for Correctional Facilities James O’Gorman will oversee the Clinton Correctional Facility as the new leadership team transitions this week. Staffing for the security positions will be addressed through procedures outlined in the union contract.”


Earlier this month, Richard Matt and David Sweat had escaped from the maximum-security prison and remained on the run for weeks as a thousand state police and other officers tracked the pair from cabins through the dense forests.

Matt, 48, and Sweat, 35, tricked correctional officers at the prison by making dummies and stuffing them into their beds the night they fled. They were not discovered missing until a 5:30 a.m. bed check June 6.

Matt was killed Friday by a federal agent.

Sweat was shot and arrested Sunday. He remains hospitalized in Albany in serious condition.


Sweat was serving a sentence of life without parole in the killing of a sheriff’s deputy in Broome County in 2002. Matt was serving 25 years to life for the killing and dismembering of his former boss. 

Follow @latimesmuskal for national news