Inmates Say They Were Abused By Officers After 'Shawshank'-Style Escape
Several inmates at a New York prison claim to have been abused by guards after two murderers escaped last June.
Thanks to help from a prison worker, inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat were able to obtain power tools to tunnel their way out of Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6.
So far, however, not a single inmate has been found to have played a direct role in the escape.
But according to The New York Times, inmates were violently interrogated by guards in the days after the escape and tortured for failing to reveal their suspected assistance.
A prisoner known as Mr. Alexander, who was in the cell next to Matt's, said he was handcuffed, punched and thrown head first against a wall hours after the escape.
The guards allegedly asked questions such as:
Where are they going? What did you hear? How much are they paying you to keep your mouth shut?
When he told the guards he didn't know anything, Mr. Alexander says one of them pointed to a plastic bag and asked,
You know what waterboarding is?
The bag was then supposedly put on his head before another beating ensued.
Mr. Alexander said guards additionally took away his diaries, family photos and letters from his mother and aunt.
Inmates Victor Aponte and Reggie Edwards, who worked in the prison tailor shop with Matt, were also targeted, The New York Times reports.
Aponte said one guard tied a plastic bag around his neck so tightly he passed out, and a sergeant threatened him with death if he reported the beatings.
He reportedly wrote a letter to Prisoners' Legal Services, saying,
The sergeant tells me... if I didn't tell the nurse that was going to examine me that nothing has happened that they were going to kill me for real this time.
Edwards said he was placed in solitary confinement for three weeks and had his family photos as well as his wedding ring thrown away.
Prisoners' Legal Services of New York told The Times it received complaints from over 60 inmates, which, according to the corrections department, are being investigated by the state inspector general.
The corrections department added if any "misconduct or abuse" is uncovered, it "will be punished to the full extent of the law."