New York prison escapees' plot highlights security lapses

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By: Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The June 6 escape of two convicted murderers from an upstate New York prison highlights apparent security lapses in a facility where a complex escape plan may have been rehearsed for weeks and the breakout went undetected for as long as six hours.

But it also bares a culture of surprising liberties and personal relationships in a maximum-security prison where the two killers were in privileged “honor” housing. A guard has acknowledged giving one of them tools and access to an off-limits area in exchange for not only prison intel, but also paintings. And an instructor stands accused of helping the two escape after hatching a plot to kill her husband.

Terry Pelz is a former Texas prison warden who now teaches criminal justice at the University of Houston. He says “this is not how you should run prisons.”

Officers found and killed Richard Matt last week in woods near the Canadian border after about three weeks of searching. They captured David Sweat on Sunday not far away.

A doctor at the Albany Medical Center says Sweat is in critical condition after being shot by a state trooper near the Canadian border.

Authorities say Sweat was struck twice in the torso.

A prosecutor says Sweat will be charged with escape, burglary and other counts if he survives.