Prison break casts spotlight on staff-inmate relationships

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APTOPIX Escaped Prisoners_213500

Law enforcement officers walk in a field along Route 3 on Saturday, June 13, 2015, in Saranac, N.Y. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel have begun an eighth day searching for David Sweat and Richard Matt, two killers who used power tools to cut their way out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in northern New […]

NEW YORK (AP) — Training to work in maximum-security prisons includes stern warnings that add up one message: Don’t get too close to the inmates.

Never treat the relationship as anything other than professional. Never reveal personal details an inmate could use to compromise you. And never forget you are dealing with hardened, often cunning, criminals.

Investigators say prison tailor shop instructor Joyce Mitchell ignored those admonitions with frightening consequences, helping two convicted killers make their power-tool breakout from upstate New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility.

Mitchell’s family has said she wouldn’t have done that.

Corrections experts note that prison workers are immersed in a world of inmates who can be excellent manipulators. Experts say some prison workers wind up doing inappropriate things for them because of compassion, greed, romantic attraction or threats.Copyright 2015 Associated Press

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