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1 NYS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

2 AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION

3 BOARD OF PAROLE

4 *********************************************************

5 Parole Board Interview

6 In the Matter

7 -of-

8 JOYCE E. MITCHELL

9 DIN # 15-G-0834
NYSID #
10
*********************************************************
11
TYPE OF INTERVIEW: Or Earlier/Merit Time
12

13 HELD AT: Bedford Hills C.F.


Video-conferenced to NYS DOCCS
14 314 West 40th Street
New York, New York
15
DATE: February 7, 2017
16 DECISION DATE: February 7, 2017

17
BEFORE: COMMISSIONER STANFORD
18 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA
COMMISSIONER J. SMITH
19

20 ALSO PRESENT: R. MORALES, SORC


C. CRESPO, APA
21 S. FISCHLER, VR I

22 AT FACILITY: J. GREENFIELD, ORC


N. DIXON, ORC
23

24

25 VERBATIM REPORTER: Christina M. Wolcott


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 2

1 BY COMMISSIONER STANFORD:

2 Q. Good morning.

3 A. Good morning.

4 Q. Are you Joyce Mitchell?

5 A. How are you today? Yes, ma'am.

6 Q. I'm fine; thanks, Ms. Mitchell. I'm Commissioner

7 Stanford and I'm here today with Commissioner Smith on

8 my right, your left, and Commissioner Coppola.

9 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Good morning.

10 THE INMATE: Good morning.

11 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Hello.

12 THE INMATE: How are you?

13 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Good; thanks

14 for asking.

15 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Fine; thank

16 you.

17 Q. Ms. Mitchell, I want to begin by saying that we've

18 received your parole report. It's entitled, "A parole

19 Report on Behalf of Joyce Mitchell" and -- presented to

20 us and prepared by , , an

21 MSW, working out of Syracuse, dated January 9th, 2017.

22 This was prepared on your behalf, ma'am?

23 A. Yes, it was, ma'am.

24 Q. Thank you. We do have that. I need to make a

25 correction too, at the outset, to your Parole Board


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 3

1 Report. I believe the report you have or you would have

2 received a copy of in the area that said "Official

3 Statements," judge, DA, defense attorney, it's checked

4 "no" for all three. Since this report was prepared,

5 however, letters did come in from the Clinton County

6 District Attorney's Office and also a letter came in

7 from your attorney at the time of your plea, I believe,

8 from the Law Offices of Stephen A. Johnston; that was

9 your attorney?

10 A. Yes, ma'am.

11 Q. He wrote a letter on your behalf January 17th of

12 2017. So after the Parole Board Report was prepared,

13 letters came in, so I'm going to correct my copy of the

14 Parole Board Report and I'm giving you notice that those

15 corrections are being made to the record and that we

16 have things that they didn't have -- the facility did

17 not have when this report was created, okay?

18 A. Thank you, ma'am.

19 Q. And the law requires that when we have them,

20 responses from the judge, D.A. or your attorney, that we

21 do consider them, all right?

22 A. Thank you.

23 Q. You're welcome. So I'm just noting with my initials

24 and today's date "yes" instead of "no" by the D.A. and

25 defense attorney after "official statements". All


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 4

1 right. I'm going to read the detailed present offense

2 and then I'm going to go into some other things in our

3 records. "Under Indictment Number 102S" -- and in this

4 case, I think it's a superior -- supreme court

5 information, actually -- "102S15991: The subject

6 knowingly and unlawfully introduced hacksaw blades,

7 chisels, a punch and a screwdriver bit into Clinton

8 Correctional Facility. The subject intentionally and

9 unlawfully introduced contraband tools and hardware to

10 Inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt. The subject did

11 engage in conduct which provided Inmates Sweat and Matt

12 the means to commit the felony of Escape 1st Degree."

13 And for your participation in these acts, you pled

14 guilty to Promoting Prison Contraband 1st Degree, is

15 that right?

16 A. Yes, ma'am.

17 Q. Thank you. And you were sentenced in Clinton County

18 by the Honorable Kevin K. Ryan. As I said, you were

19 represented by Mr. Johnston at that time and Judge Ryan

20 gave you a sentence, I guess, that was negotiated from

21 the looks of things in your sentencing minutes, of two

22 and a third to seven years, does that all sound correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Okay. And you're seeing us today for merit

25 consideration for some of the work that you have been


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 5

1 doing in the facility and, namely, completion of a

2 , is that correct?

3 A. Yes, ma'am.

4 Q. You participated in ?

5 A. Yes, ma'am.

6 Q. And completed that successfully?

7 A. Yes, ma'am.

8 Q. So we have that merit time issue determination notice

9 in your file and we also have a Certificate of Earned

10 Eligibility determination notice in your file, and that

11 is given to you based on your record of program

12 attendance, participation and progress and that gives

13 you a rebuttable presumption in favor of your

14 suitability for release. So let me turn my attention

15 for the moment to your parole report. It begins with a

16 proposed release proposal on your behalf with an

17 introduction and case summary, relevant background

18 information. Mr. presents that he believes you

19 satisfied the statutory requirements for release and he

20 gives us additional considerations as well. He

21 highlights your institutional accomplishments. In

22 addition to , in your opinion, what are your most

23 significant institutional accomplishments?

24 A. I've -- I feel that I have -- I'm sorry. I'm

25 nervous. I feel that I have grown in knowing, you know,


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 6

1 that I can be a stronger person and not be taken over by

2 fear. Fear is just the cowardly way out and I'm not a

3 coward, so I have learned that, you know, just rely on

4 help of others, don't try to do things on your own. If

5 you feel that you need help, get that help.

6 Q. Okay. In terms of your institutional achievements,

7 besides the program, what other activities have you

8 been involved in at Bedford?

9 A. I have done several of the ACE programs, like the

10 HIV, different ones. I've done different -- like,

11 there's been four-week ones, six-week ones. I'm

12 currently working as a clerk in the library. I just

13 started college, I've done the writer's journal,

14 different volunteer programs that they have had here in

15 the facility. I did like a parenting one, but it was

16 more towards my granddaughter because my children are

17 all grown, but I'm participating in different, you know

18 -- the volunteer programs, if I -- you know, it allows

19 me to be able to do it with my schedule and my work and

20 college, I'm doing it.

21 Q. And what type of work are you doing within the

22 facility?

23 A. I was a porter at one time, but I got -- I'm allergic

24 to the germicide, so I wasn't able to do that anymore so

25 I'm working currently as a clerk in the library.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 7

1 Q. Okay. Thank you. And we do see certificates of

2 completion from the different ACE programs. These are

3 programs presented by the ACE, A-C-E, program and the

4 Women's Prison Association, and I see you have completed

5 a health awareness workshop?

6 A. Yes, ma'am, and I've also done the domestic violence

7 -- or family violence one for both spousal and child.

8 Q. Was that something that you had a need for due to

9 personal experience?

10 A. Yes. Yes. I was -- my first husband was very

11 abusive and my mother's always considered me -- well, I

12 wasn't as good as my brother and my sister, I --

13 whatever they did was right, whatever I did was wrong.

14 Q. So you feel to a certain extent you were the victim

15 of some form of emotional abuse?

16 A. Yes, so I took both parts of the family violence.

17 Q. We have inmate progress report -- actually, two in

18 your record, your parole report, that was prepared on

19 your behalf, where you had excellent ratings in the

20 family violence program. In fact, it looks like you

21 have two different progress reports, both for domestic

22 -- well, one for family violence program and one for the

23 domestic violence program and the other -- the ratings

24 that are present on the domestic violence are also

25 excellent, and you're considered an active -- you were


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 8

1 considered to be an active member of the group and you

2 openly discussed your own issues and gave positive

3 feedback and you were also considered very active in the

4 family violence group. We have a letter of support in

5 your records from your husband of 15 plus years. He

6 says in one part, quote, "I know my wife did wrong but,

7 much more importantly, she knows she did wrong!" "She

8 has taken full responsibility from the start by

9 cooperating over 50 hours in meetings with the IG's

10 office, State Police and prosecutors. She has expressed

11 remorse throughout her court case and while in prison

12 serving a very stiff prison term." And he ends by

13 saying, "You're a true first offender who spent her life

14 of over 50 years helping others." And, "In closing,

15 please, I'm begging you to allow her home to me, where

16 she belongs, with her loving family and friends by

17 granting her parole release at her earliest eligibility.

18 Respectfully, ." It's a lovely

19 one-and-a-half-page letter your husband wrote on your

20 behalf. You have other nice letters of support written

21 on your behalf as well. Included in your support

22 network are Ms. ; your son -- is

23 this , ?

24 A. Yes, ma'am.

25 Q. . He says he's a senior airman in the Vermont


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 9

1 Air National Guard.

2 A. Yes, ma'am, he is.

3 Q. He describes you as a very loving and caring woman.

4 Quote, "She is one of the best people I know. She would

5 give anyone the shirt off her back." That's signed,

6 " ". ,

9 , statement of support, attesting to your good

10 character. She's your first cousin?

11 A. Yes, ma'am.

12 Q. And many, many others, ma'am, by family and friends.

13 These letters take up a full section of your report on

14 your behalf; well over ten letters written by different

15 people on your behalf that we'll take into account,

16 okay?

17 A. Yes, ma'am.

18 Q. I'm going to take more time, obviously, to review

19 your submission. Is there a personal statement in here

20 from you or no?

21 A. I'm not sure if there's one in there or not.

22 Q. Did you write one for Mr. ?

23 A. I did, but I also have a copy here because I knew

24 that I'd forget half of what I wanted to say because I'm

25 so nervous.
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 10

1 Q. Okay. Did you give a copy of your statement to

2 Bedford staff to include in your file?

3 A. They had one. They had me write one up.

4 Q. I do see in your Parole Board Report in the section

5 "Offender's Statement" a note. It begins with an

6 apology for the trouble, and it ends, once again, please

7 accept my apology for what I have done. I think that's

8 what that's supposed to say. Is that the statement?

9 Does it sound like the statement you prepared?

10 A. Yes. That's part of it, yes.

11 Q. Well, there must be a piece of it that they have

12 included in the report. So your plan, upon release, is

13 to reside at home with your husband?

14 A. Yes, ma'am.

15 Q. And information on the Parole Board Report also

16 suggests that you've been offered a waitressing

17 position, is this right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Have you ever done that kind of work before?

20 A. Yes, ma'am, I have. When I was doing my college,

21 years ago, in between the semesters, I worked as a

22 waitress and a cook at a restaurant of a friend.

23 Q. Now, I know you told us earlier that you hope to

24 return to school and finish a degree. Were you able to

25 achieve a degree, an associate's or a bachelor's, in


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 11

1 your earlier time in college?

2 A. Yes. Yes, ma'am. I have an associate's in business

3 office technology.

4 Q. I think I may even have a copy of that in your

5 report, North Country Community College.

6 A. Yes, ma'am.

7 Q. Associate in Applied Science. Okay.

8 A. Yes, ma'am.

9 Q. Thank you. What do you want to go back to school

10 for?

11 A. I'd really like to have gone back for the criminal

12 justice but, right now, I -- I'm doing what I can here,

13 but when I go home, I'd like to continue in and

14 hopefully get something to the criminal possess...

15 profession.

16 Q. Now, we have your risk assessment. It suggests that

17 you're a low risk of felony violence, arrest and

18 absconding; low criminal involvement; unlikely to have

19 criminogenic needs that statistically have been shown

20 and lead individuals back into criminal behavior and

21 thinking. We also have your case plan and you had a

22 goal related to addressing . Had

23 you had issues with substances in the past, including

24 alcohol?

25 A. When I was with my first husband, I did. My first


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 12

1 husband was very abusive. He was a druggie and an

2 alcoholic, both, and it got to a point where the only

3 time I could really deal with him was if I was -- if I

4 had been drinking. Just like I can just ignore him, but

5 I don't need that anymore, I know I don't. I know I'm

6 okay.

7 Q. So what years were you married in and using the

8 alcohol as you described?

9 A. Well, I wasn't actually married to him yet at the

10 time, and that would have been back in 1983-84.

11 Q. So these are the years before marriage?

12 A. Yes. And then I was married to him in '91 and we

13 were divorced -- well, my son as born in '93 and we

14 separated after that because I couldn't -- I couldn't

15 take it anymore with him. I mean he had -- he had

16 actually -- one day, if I hadn't turned, he would have

17 hit my son instead of me, so then and there I said I got

18 to get out of this.

19 Q. So altogether you were involved between approximately

20 1984 and 1993 with your son's father?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And during those years, you used alcohol in the

23 manner you described?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Any other drugs?


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 13

1 A. I tried marijuana, but it was nothing that -- I

2 didn't stay with the marijuana; alcohol seemed to be my

3 -- my key.

4 Q. Okay. When was the last time you drank alcohol to

5 the point of intoxication, do you remember the year?

6 A. It would have been well before I got with my second

7 husband and we were together -- well, we were married in

8 2001. I -- once I got with my second husband, the only

9 time we drank was socially. I never really got to the

10 point of intoxication.

11 Q. Okay. So that was your number one goal in your case

12 plan, to address .

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And then the second was a prosocial development goal

15 to set healthy boundaries with others. Did you help in

16 the identification of these goals? In other words, is

17 this a goal that you had for yourself or was a goal that

18 staff at the facility helped you to arrive at?

19 A. No, it's a goal that I want for myself.

20 Q. And why did you --

21 A. I'm sorry. I need to learn to quit being so -- I

22 don't want to say nice -- I need to know that I don't

23 have to be the one to try and help someone all the time.

24 I need to be able to say "no" and that means "no". Not

25 say "no" and then five minutes later give in, like I've
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 14

1 always done, because it's always been you make somebody

2 happier if you just do what they want. I don't have to

3 do that. If, you know, somebody asked for something and

4 I can't do it, I can't do it. There's -- when I say no,

5 it's going to be no.

6 Q. Another goal that you set for yourself was to improve

7 your self esteem and then develop positive activities

8 and then develop self confidence.

9 A. Yes, ma'am.

10 Q. Anything more you want to say about those three goals

11 in your case plan?

12 A. I've become a much better person as far as, you know,

13 I'm stronger and I know that I am a good person. I know

14 that, you know, if I'm just allowed to show people, I

15 can be the person that I once was, but to the point

16 where I don't have to give in to be able to be loved. I

17 know that, you know, people are not always gonna to be

18 happy with my decisions, and that's the way it's got to

19 be. I can't be that person that gives in to make

20 someone happy all the time. I have to make sure that

21 what I'm doing is right.

22 Q. Have you been able to identify, for your own sake,

23 how this -- the behavior that you're trying to overcome

24 with these goals, how that may have contributed to you

25 committing the crime you committed?


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 15

1 A. I do know that, when thinking everything over, a lot

2 of it was -- it was -- I let fear overtake my common

3 sense, and I know that, like I said, fear is just the

4 coward's way out. I don't have to be a coward. I can

5 be the strong person that I actually truly am, which

6 will keep me from ever making a horrific mistake, like I

7 did, and it definitely was a horrific mistake.

8 Q. What, in your mind, was the horrific mistake?

9 A. In my mind was that I let those two inmates overtake

10 what should have been me knowing right from wrong. My

11 fear -- like I said, I let fear -- because it was -- and

12 this is probably going to sound weird, but it's like

13 when I was around them, it was like I was back with my

14 ex-husband and it was -- if you didn't do what he

15 wanted, you would feel either the emotional, the

16 physical or mental abuse, and it's like when I was

17 around them, I was -- fear just come back in, but then

18 when I wasn't with them and I was back with my husband,

19 it was like -- it was like I was two different people in

20 one body, but I know that I'm only one person.

21 Q. All right. Up until the time that you provided this

22 contraband, how long had you been employed within the

23 department and working at a correctional facility,

24 approximately?

25 A. Approximately seven years.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 16

1 Q. What was it specifically that you were afraid of?

2 A. That they would kill my husband, because they had

3 threatened to kill my husband and he worked there also,

4 and I know that they could have got to him any time.

5 Q. Did you ever share your concerns for his safety with

6 your husband at the time when you first felt the fear?

7 A. No, because I felt if I did, that he would go

8 confront them, you know, go say something to them and

9 that they would kill him right there in front of my

10 eyes.

11 Q. Did --

12 A. No one -- I'm sorry, ma'am.

13 Q. Finish your thought.

14 A. Pardon?

15 Q. Go ahead.

16 A. No one understands the power that Inmate Matt had.

17 For an inmate he had a lot of power when it came to the

18 officers. He could say, you know, Smith made me mad,

19 open the gate and take a walk for 10, 15 minutes. That

20 officer could do it, come back, that inmate could be

21 beat up and they would just shut the gate and laugh

22 about it, and I didn't know who to go to because he had

23 done paintings for several officers and higher ups. I

24 didn't know who to tell. I -- I know that I did wrong

25 and I accept responsibility for everything I have done.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 17

1 I mentally beat myself up everyday for my choices I have

2 made. I just -- I'm hoping that yous will just allow

3 me --

4 Q. Go ahead, finish your thought. Allow you?

5 A. Allow me to prove to you that I can be a respectable

6 and responsible person in the community again. I just

7 want to go home to my family to be able to take care of

8 them.

9 Q. Ms. Mitchell, Commissioner Coppola would like to ask

10 a question at this point.

11 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: During this

12 time you said that you didn't have -- you said that

13 -- well, a couple of things, but one of them is you

14 didn't know who to go to, you didn't know who to

15 tell and you were afraid that they were going to

16 kill your husband, did you ever tell your husband?

17 THE INMATE: No. I just -- I tried to

18 keep him out of harm's way. When he would --

19 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Hang on one

20 second. You never thought that by telling him he

21 would maybe keep his distance from either one of

22 them or even, you know, seek a transfer or do

23 something instead of not tell him and he's walking

24 around without knowing, similar to, you know,

25 somebody out there saying, you know, that DOCCS


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 18

1 knows that there's been a threat on a commissioner's

2 life and they don't even tell us, they figure, well,

3 let's just not tell them just in case. Well, I

4 would like to know someone is following me. I don't

5 understand why you felt it was protecting him more

6 by not telling him.

7 THE INMATE: Because, like I said, I

8 knew if I told him, he would go confront them. You

9 know, I don't know what he'd say to them, but I know

10 he would confront them and they would end up killing

11 him right in front of me.

12 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: You figured the

13 better course of action was just to continue on and

14 not say anything and just let things unfold the way

15 that they did?

16 THE INMATE: I tried to just keep my

17 eye on it and keep him protected. I know, I went

18 about everything the wrong way, everything.

19 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Are you saying

20 you truly believe that -- and I know that some

21 inmates have a lot of liberties, but I just find it

22 hard to believe that he controlled the prison, he

23 could basically push a button and say to somebody,

24 I've got to take care of this guy or you need to go

25 take a walk for a while --


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 19

1 THE INMATE: He could.

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: -- he could do

3 whatever he wanted?

4 THE INMATE: He could. He had been

5 through that whole system. The officers had taken

6 him to different parts of the building. I do know

7 that there was one time that I had an inmate that

8 was in my shop, he got keep lock, Inmate Matt wanted

9 to take food over to him, the officer took him over

10 to the unit or block, whatever you call it, that

11 that inmate was on. He was brought into the shop on

12 weekends.

13 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So how high up

14 did his influence go, past lieutenants, captains,

15 all the way up to the deputy superintendents,

16 superintendents --

17 THE INMATE: I do know that there was

18 one superintendent he had done paintings for.

19 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So you're

20 pretty much -- you're saying that you -- you

21 observed -- personally observed him basically having

22 the run over the prison and the influence over all

23 those corrections officers, that he could do

24 whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted?

25 THE INMATE: He could. This was a man


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 20

1 that he had -- he had -- there was an officer that

2 had brought something into him for doing a painting

3 for him, and when the lieutenant wanted to know the

4 information, Inmate Matt wouldn't give it to him;

5 that lieutenant smashed everything he owned and

6 within two days he had everything back, brand new.

7 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So --

8 THE INMATE: Everything back, brand

9 new, and it wasn't through buying stuff, it was -- I

10 mean you got a lot of power when you can do that.

11 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Now, there were

12 -- as far as I know, there's at least one officer

13 that was charged, and I'm not sure what his final

14 outcome was, that was widely publicized, so you're

15 saying that other officers had done these things?

16 THE INMATE: Yes.

17 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So when all

18 this unfolded and you were questioned -- and I'm

19 sure that they questioned you for who knows how

20 long -- and you were asked of others that you knew

21 were involved in helping them or least giving them

22 liberties that aided in their abilities to do what

23 they did, did you -- did you implicate all the other

24 officers that you saw doing these things for him?

25 THE INMATE: No. I took all the


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 21

1 blame. I took all the responsibility for this.

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Hang on. I

3 think you're misunderstanding my question. There's

4 a security issue here, and you're saying that under

5 all the questioning, they never asked you about

6 other officers who did things or you saw do things

7 that could have aided both of these individuals in

8 their escape or their behavior in the prison?

9 THE INMATE: They asked me if I knew

10 for sure and I told them I didn't know for sure.

11 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: But how could

12 you say that? You just told us that you saw, you

13 personally --

14 THE INMATE: I didn't --

15 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Hang on. Let

16 me finish. You said that you personally witnessed

17 officers giving them or Matt -- we'll say, Matt --

18 extensive liberties, even if he misbehaved, whatever

19 it may had been, allowing him to go bring food to

20 somebody who was in keep lock, you just said to us

21 that you personally witnessed this, and that's why

22 you were so in fear of what they might do or follow

23 through with their threats, but now you also are

24 saying that you told the officers, under

25 questioning, that you did not know for sure of other


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 22

1 officers who may have helped them or done things

2 that they shouldn't have done with regard to say --

3 we'll say Matt, because that's who you said, so I'm

4 not sure -- what are you saying? Are you not

5 telling the truth about not -- about that you

6 witnessed this personally or are you saying that you

7 lied to the officers when you said you didn't know

8 of anybody else?

9 THE INMATE: I didn't say that I

10 personally witnessed it.

11 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: You just did.

12 I asked you if --

13 THE INMATE: I didn't -- then I

14 misunderstood you.

15 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Listen, I'm not

16 interrogating you, but I don't want to just keep

17 losing track of what happened. We can read the

18 transcript back. I asked you -- because this goes

19 to the heart of you saying why you felt so fearful

20 and that it was a true danger to you, okay? Because

21 there is some validity to that. I would agree that

22 if somebody felt that way, there can be some

23 validity to that, but you said the reason you felt

24 that way, the reason you felt you couldn't go to

25 anybody else, because they had control -- Matt had


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 23

1 control of everybody, according to you, and I said,

2 Did you personally witness him having this influence

3 within the prison and you said "yes". You said

4 "yes".

5 THE INMATE: Then I misunderstand you.

6 I misunderstand you, then, because I didn't

7 physically see it.

8 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So if you

9 didn't physically see it, how would you one hundred

10 percent know that you had no avenue to pursue with

11 regard to threats from him or the fears that you had

12 that they would hurt your husband? If you didn't

13 witness what you claim he had, all this influence,

14 how did you know for sure that you couldn't go

15 anywhere?

16 THE INMATE: Because Inmate Matt told

17 me that if any officers or anyone knew and they were

18 taken out of their shops or even taken out of the

19 facility, my husband was dead sooner than what I

20 would know. I just want to go home.

21 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Well, I'm

22 pretty sure you do, but there's a lot to consider.

23 I'm trying to -- I'm trying to decipher of how much

24 you knew or believed that that threat was real and,

25 you know, there was a --


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 24

1 THE INMATE: Trust me, it was Inmate

2 Matt.

3 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So let me ask

4 you this: When you started with DOCCS -- and I'm

5 not quite clear on it, I don't have the file in

6 front of me, so I don't know your complete

7 background as far as education -- what

8 qualifications did you have when you started this

9 job, the job at the facility?

10 THE INMATE: I had worked at

11 Tru-Stitch Slipper Factory.

12 COMMISSIONER STANFORD: Tru-Stitch?

13 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: What is it,

14 Tru-Stitch?

15 THE INMATE: Tru-Stitch, yes. I mean

16 it was called Tru-Stitch; actually, it's Wolverine

17 World Wide. I was a stitcher there, we made

18 slippers. I sewed for 15 years there; that was one

19 of the qualifications, you had to be able to sew.

20 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. So --

21 and I'm not sure, what was your exact title?

22 THE INMATE: For the -- I was an

23 industrial training supervisor.

24 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: For the

25 Department of Corrections?
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 25

1 THE INMATE: Yes.

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. Did you

3 have a college degree or did you have an

4 associate's?

5 THE INMATE: I had an associate's,

6 yes, sir.

7 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Did you have to

8 have an associate's for that position?

9 THE INMATE: No. You just -- your

10 main thing was you had to have sewing experience.

11 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay.

12 THE INMATE: And supervision -- and

13 the supervisor experience, which I had from

14 Tru-Stitch.

15 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So they knew, I

16 mean, on a daily basis, you would have -- you would

17 have contact with inmates?

18 THE INMATE: Yes.

19 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. When you

20 started the position, did you get any training of

21 how to act around inmates or to, you know, what --

22 what course of actions you had to take if you saw an

23 inmate doing something they weren't supposed to, did

24 the department train you in anyway in how to

25 associate with these inmates?


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 26

1 THE INMATE: They did show us movies

2 on inmates, games inmates would play. They did

3 train us but, quite honestly, I don't feel that it

4 was enough training.

5 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So you're

6 saying that even though the department -- did the

7 department -- you said the videos or the training

8 they gave you was -- well, talked about games that

9 inmates would play, and we all I think know, once we

10 get some experience, that they're -- they're

11 probably pretty good at it -- so you're saying even

12 with that training to not really fall into their

13 game or to understand that they will play these

14 games to get in your favor, that simply because he

15 told you he had that much control, that was good

16 enough? You never thought about the training, that

17 maybe he's playing a game on me, he's running a game

18 here?

19 THE INMATE: I never saw it. I

20 screwed up. I screwed up big time, and I -- you

21 know, no one is ever going to forget this. I'm

22 never going to forget this, but I know I made a

23 horrific, horrific choice in what I did and I can

24 never take that back.

25 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: How long did


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 27

1 this go on for?

2 THE INMATE: For what?

3 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: How long did it

4 go on for -- we'll say your relationship with either

5 him or Sweat, as far as any non-inmate/staff member

6 relationship, anything that went beyond that?

7 THE INMATE: Other than me bringing in

8 the stuff, that was it. I just -- I treated every

9 inmate like a human being.

10 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So it only

11 happened once? It only happened when you brought

12 the stuff in? I mean I'm saying even if you

13 trickled the stuff in, how long a period of time did

14 this go on for?

15 THE INMATE: Three, four months.

16 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. All

17 right. That's it for now. I might have some other

18 questions later, but that's it. Thank you.

19 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Just a couple

20 followup questions as well and then I'll probably

21 have more at the end. You talked about your husband

22 and the threat, that you perceived, that was made by

23 Matt or by Sweat or by both of them?

24 THE INMATE: It was made by Matt.

25 Trust me, Mr. Matt would have followed through with


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 28

1 it.

2 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: When did your

3 husband last work at DOCCS?

4 THE INMATE: When did he last work at

5 DOCCS?

6 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Yes.

7 THE INMATE: It would have been about

8 the time that I got arrested. He hasn't worked

9 since.

10 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Okay. Now,

11 were other inmates a problem for you?

12 THE INMATE: No.

13 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Okay. You

14 said there wasn't enough training?

15 THE INMATE: I really -- I really

16 truly don't believe -- I'm not saying it because

17 it's me, but anyone, even the civilians here, I

18 don't feel that they get enough training because you

19 tend to get -- what do I want to say -- lax, because

20 you're doing the same routine everyday and you're

21 around the same inmates, so you tend to -- do I want

22 to -- I'm trying to think what I want to say. I'm

23 sorry. Like I said, you get lax, you get into a

24 routine and you kind of -- I don't know --

25 everything just comes all together. It's like you


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 29

1 actually do kind of forget where you are, even

2 though you know where you are. Am I making sense?

3 Probably not.

4 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: I hear what

5 you're saying. I don't believe it, and the reason I

6 don't is from a very young age, we are taught right

7 from wrong.

8 THE INMATE: I know.

9 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: You know,

10 you're in a custodial situation, you've been in the

11 system for a number years, you've been a supervisor

12 at your past job, you know about problem employees.

13 If you looked at those inmates as your employees,

14 would you have tolerated that from an employee at

15 the slipper factory?

16 THE INMATE: No.

17 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Were you a

18 member of the union --

19 THE INMATE: I told you screwed up.

20 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Let me finish.

21 Were you a member of the union?

22 THE INMATE: Yes.

23 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Okay. You

24 didn't feel you had any recourse to go to the union?

25 THE INMATE: I didn't what?


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 30

1 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: You didn't

2 feel you had any recourse to go talk to your steward

3 and say, Listen, there's something going on here?

4 THE INMATE: I didn't even think about

5 them.

6 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: So when did

7 you begin the relationship with these men?

8 THE INMATE: There was never anything

9 other than him and I, employer/inmate, and when he

10 started to threaten, he was -- I don't know how to

11 explain it. I just don't know. He was very, very

12 controlling. He got to the point that the inmates

13 would say, I can't come and ask you anything and I'd

14 say, Why not? And they'd say Matt said we had to go

15 through him. It was like he wanted to control

16 everything around him.

17 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Why did you

18 let that go on? Why -- on day one, when he came to

19 you, why didn't you shut him down right then? What

20 was he giving you that your family couldn't give

21 you?

22 THE INMATE: He wasn't giving me

23 anything. I screwed up.

24 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: We know that.

25 We know that.
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 31

1 THE INMATE: I was --

2 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Are you

3 telling this Panel that Inmate Matt was the first

4 inmate that ever crossed the line in all your years

5 of employment there, are you telling us that?

6 THE INMATE: Yes. Because any time

7 any -- I was afraid of him. I was deathly afraid of

8 him, because if I ever had any issues where I

9 thought somebody was getting over the line before, I

10 said something.

11 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Well, that was

12 my question. I just asked you that.

13 THE INMATE: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

14 I'm just so nervous and I want to go home.

15 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Do you

16 understand -- and I'm sure Commissioner Stanford is

17 going to resume the interview here in a minute --

18 the consequences? You said you made a horrific

19 mistake; no, ma'am, you made a choice. You made a

20 choice to allow this behavior to be perpetuated to

21 start bringing contraband into the prison, which

22 ultimately led to these two men escaping, which

23 placed countless number of citizens and first

24 responders in fear. Not to say the amount of money

25 it cost New York State, you created a wave of fear,


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 32

1 and you can be very thankful that no first

2 responders were injured or killed during this.

3 THE INMATE: I know that. I know. I

4 know, ma'am. Trust me, I know. There isn't a day

5 that I haven't thought about that.

6 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: I'll let you

7 resume.

8 BY COMMISSIONER STANFORD:

9 Q. Okay. Turning back to the sentencing minutes for a

10 moment. The judge said some things that you may

11 probably recall and there was, I guess, some discussion

12 about more potential charges before he summed it up, but

13 he noted, quote, "You did terrible things. New York

14 State has incurred almost 23 million in overtime costs

15 alone related to the manhunt." This is what the judge

16 said at your sentencing. "The economic and non-

17 economic costs suffered by so many people is

18 incalculable." And, as Commissioner Smith noted, the

19 judge also said, quote, "A large portion of the local

20 population was terrorized." So, in effect, because you

21 were afraid, you passed that fear on to others by

22 bringing in the materials that you knew or I believe you

23 knew, you can tell me if you didn't, they were going to

24 use to effect their escape. And is it true that they

25 had also hoped that you would further facilitate their


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 33

1 escape by meeting them outside the prison, is that

2 accurate as well?

3 A. Yes, it is, ma'am.

4 Q. But that you did not know, correct?

5 A. No, I did not.

6 Q. Did you know the day that they were going to effect

7 their escape? Did you know approximately when they were

8 going to -- you must have if you were supposed to be

9 meeting them, right?

10 A. I didn't -- I didn't know until Matt had stood in the

11 back of the room and he made a motion with his arm up

12 that that was the night it was supposed to be.

13 Q. That was a code that he had worked out with you?

14 When I do this, make this motion, you'll know that

15 that's the night?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Okay. I guess at some point in the sentencing

18 minutes, he was actually repeating things that you had

19 said in his presence or on the record before him, and

20 you said, I guess, because he begins by saying,

21 "Similarly, at another point in your presentence

22 interview with the department of probation, you said,

23 quote, "I was trying to save my husband," end quote.

24 "Ms. Mitchell, I just don't find that information

25 credible." Do you remember the judge saying that to


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 34

1 you?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And then he says, "While you express remorse for the

4 harm you caused the community, you also stated that you

5 believe the negotiated sentence is too harsh and, taking

6 into consideration all of the various sentencing

7 factors, I can assure you, you have nothing to complain

8 about with the negotiated sentence." Do you remember

9 the judge saying that?

10 A. Yes, ma'am.

11 Q. And then he proceeded to sentence you for Promoting

12 Prison Contraband 1st Degree, two and a third to seven

13 years, with a fine $5,000, and also sentenced you for

14 the A misdemeanor of Criminal Facilitation in the 4th

15 Degree, definite term of one-year concurrent to the

16 Prison Contraband 1st sentence. Do you still feel like

17 the sentence that you got was unduly harsh or unfair?

18 A. I don't know if it was or not.

19 Q. You don't know?

20 A. I just know I want a chance.

21 Q. Well, now, the -- the person that we spent a good

22 deal of this interview talking about, former Inmate

23 Matt, he's dead, right?

24 A. Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry.

25 Q. And that -- and that was as a result of contact that


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 35

1 he had with law enforcement that was looking for him.

2 And the other inmate, is it correct that he was serving

3 a term without the possibility of parole before?

4 A. I'm not sure what his actual sentence was, ma'am.

5 Q. In any event, would you think it fair to say that

6 they have consequences for their actions too that they

7 are paying or have paid, correct?

8 A. Yes, ma'am.

9 Q. Fair to say?

10 A. Yes, ma'am.

11 COMMISSIONER STANFORD: All right.

12 I'm going to ask my colleagues if they have any

13 other questions.

14 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: A couple.

15 Ms. Mitchell, you had said that your

16 relationship with Matt was simply inmate -- and, I'm

17 sorry, I forgot your title -- but as inmate/staff

18 person, other than the threats and everything,

19 right?

20 THE INMATE: Yes, sir. In my mind it

21 was. I know -- I know that they had that there was

22 a love triangle out there. There was never any --

23 any of that.

24 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So you're

25 saying that there was never any physical sexual


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 36

1 contact between you and him ever?

2 THE INMATE: You mean sex, or --

3 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Any sex. Any

4 contact, other than a handshake or a pat on the

5 shoulder, anything that could be construed or was,

6 in fact, sexual in nature?

7 THE INMATE: He grabbed me, he kissed

8 me, and at one point he tried to shove my head down

9 on him, but I ran. I was afraid to tell anybody. I

10 screwed up; trust me, I know.

11 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. And

12 you're saying that you never, ever, ever, ever

13 engaged in any sexual contact with him at all?

14 THE INMATE: No.

15 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay.

16 THE INMATE: I was feeling depressed,

17 I was feeling sad, and I guess the compliments made

18 me feel better about myself, but I never had sex

19 with the man. I never had sex.

20 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. Did you

21 ever do anything that could be construed as sexual

22 in nature, and I'm -- whether it's exposing

23 yourself, whether it's photographs, anything,

24 anything at all? Now, I want to just let you know

25 too -- go ahead. I'm sorry.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 37

1 THE INMATE: No. Go ahead.

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: No. Answer.

3 THE INMATE: I did do photos, but he

4 wouldn't leave me alone. He just kept after me and

5 after me and after me.

6 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: I mean I just

7 think it's ironic that contrary to other reports and

8 investigations and things that were said -- and we

9 all know that, you know, we can't -- we're not going

10 to consider things that were just reported in the

11 news, but this investigation has uncovered multiple

12 things, not just you, but other issues within the

13 facility and now, you know, laws have been changed,

14 people have lost their jobs, reprimands, all kinds

15 of things --

16 THE INMATE: I know.

17 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: -- due to what

18 you know, not only you did, but others allowed to

19 happen or engaged in, but it just does seem kind of

20 odd that you are trickling out details and yet when

21 you were asked during this interview about your

22 relationship, you never admitted to anything of a

23 sexual nature. You took pictures for him. I mean

24 you're trickling this stuff out and you know how

25 publicized this stuff was and the deep investigation


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 38

1 that went on within the department and information

2 that we're privy to, and yet you're really kind of

3 not just giving us the total story, I feel.

4 THE INMATE: I have given you the

5 total story. There was never any sexual anything

6 between Matt or I or Sweat.

7 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: What about

8 other inmates?

9 THE INMATE: No other inmates.

10 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Do you

11 understand that transmitting lewd photos, naked

12 photos, is something that teenagers do and people

13 actually get arrested for that?

14 THE INMATE: I know that. I know

15 that.

16 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: So that is

17 sexual in nature. People can be registered sex

18 offenders for that behavior.

19 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: How did you

20 take these photos?

21 THE INMATE: With my camera.

22 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Where?

23 THE INMATE: At my house.

24 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: And you brought

25 them in with you?


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 39

1 THE INMATE: Yes.

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: And you gave

3 them to him?

4 THE INMATE: Your investigators have

5 all that. They have -- they took my computer, they

6 took my cameras, they took everything. They have

7 all that.

8 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. I mean

9 it is -- it is unfortunate, the entire situation

10 that happened, but it is convenient that he's now

11 dead and the only one to back up your story is you.

12 It just seems like that there's some stuff being

13 left out, and I understand you're upset and --

14 THE INMATE: There's nothing being

15 left out.

16 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. It feels

17 that way. I'm not telling you it is for sure, but

18 I'm telling you it feels that way, and there's

19 certain things that are just trickling out only

20 after deeper questions. And, you know, for

21 instance, earlier, that we talked about, you said

22 that you misunderstood my question, but I don't

23 think you did. I was very, very clear and very slow

24 in the way I asked you. You personally witnessed

25 the amount of control that he had within the


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 40

1 facility and, therefore, you felt that his threats

2 were actually possible, but yet you then said later

3 you never actually witnessed it, but you believed

4 it. You also were trained, prior to starting this

5 position or while you were in this position, to

6 watch out for these things with these inmates, that

7 they will play games and that they will try to gain

8 your confidence because they want certain things,

9 they want you to look the other way when they're

10 taking some salt or something back to their cube or

11 whatever it may be and yet none of that was enough

12 for you to recognize what was going on. As

13 Commissioner Smith said, when it happened on day

14 one, on day one, you should have saw it, cut it off.

15 You know, there are many inmates that we see that

16 have a Tier III ticket for some conduct where they

17 may have brushed up against a staff member, just

18 during paperwork or -- just touch them a teeny bit,

19 by accident sometimes, and those staff members

20 report it immediately because it needs to be

21 documented that this person did this by accident or

22 not, and there's reasons for all that, but yet you

23 allowed this to take shape. You didn't stop it the

24 first day, the second -- you allowed it to take

25 shape, and it does call into question your emotional


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 41

1 state, which you described to us, which is in

2 writing, but it really doesn't verify the reason

3 that you said that you allowed it to happen for so

4 long. You haven't really given credibility to your

5 claim of I was fearful; you're painting yourself as

6 the victim here.

7 THE INMATE: I'm not the victim.

8 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: You were in a

9 position of power, some can argue, because you were

10 the staff member, they were the inmate.

11 Commissioner Smith just touched on something.

12 Giving those photographs can have you identified as

13 a discretionary sex offender. Do you understand

14 that sex offenders who are on parole supervision

15 will, in most cases, be required to take polygraph

16 tests, and they may ask you certain questions and,

17 if you lie on any of those, your parole will be

18 revoked immediately?

19 THE INMATE: I know.

20 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Has anybody

21 explained to you? Based on that action, even if it

22 was just the pictures, as you say, that you could be

23 a parolee who is also a discretionary sex offender,

24 has anybody discussed that with you?

25 THE INMATE: No. No.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 42

1 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. So that

2 creates additional circumstances for you. I wanted

3 to ask you something you said earlier. You said

4 that as far as employment, and down the road what

5 you would like to do, you wanted to get back into

6 the criminal justice field. In what way and why

7 after what has all -- all has taken place?

8 THE INMATE: I would like to be able

9 to go around and try to explain to people, you know,

10 how I got into my situation, what to look for, what

11 they should be doing, instead of like I did; don't

12 be stupid like I did.

13 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay.

14 THE INMATE: Don't let them get over

15 on you, don't get to the point where you're over

16 your head and you don't know how to get out. I'd

17 like to be -- because the training that you get is

18 not enough, and you don't get it -- it should be not

19 every however many years, it should be every year

20 updated, and -- I mean as far as the movies that

21 they show you, they're not recent. The information

22 they have is not recent. It's not --

23 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: I don't care if

24 it was from the 1930s. I mean, come on, we're

25 adults, and I understand that you had rough


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 43

1 relationships in the past and your upbringing, but

2 let's not kid ourselves. How much training do you

3 -- common sense can't be trained. You have an

4 inmate who was already known to be very

5 manipulative. You're telling me that you needed

6 more training to find out that he was manipulating

7 you and the next thing you know it, he's threatening

8 you, trying to make you have sex with him, making

9 you take pictures and everything?

10 THE INTERPRETER: No. What I'm saying

11 is --

12 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: You didn't need

13 updated training to recognize that. You're an

14 adult, you're a human being, you have some common

15 sense. You were given a position of great

16 importance and, by the way, your actions have

17 undermined a great program, programs that are

18 valuable to society as a whole because, when inmates

19 are engaged, there are many benefits to having these

20 programs. It's not just about, oh, give the inmate

21 a program for something to do. There's benefit out

22 of this. Your actions have undermined good

23 programs. People's positions have been altered in

24 many ways, their routines have been issued

25 statewide, 30,000 employees in this department, so


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 44

1 it wasn't all just about you. It wasn't all about

2 you. And you're saying that of all your colleagues

3 and all the years of experience you had, you needed

4 more training to recognize that an inmate, an

5 inmate, was starting to manipulate you and could

6 possibly put you in a position where now you are a

7 victim?

8 THE INMATE: No. It should be -- you

9 should be trained over every year so that you're not

10 letting yourself get too -- because, like I said,

11 you can get complacent. You just need to have that

12 constantly in your mind, and when you get going and

13 you're working, you just -- I don't know. Nobody

14 believes what I say anyway.

15 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: I didn't say I

16 didn't believe some of what you're saying. I'm

17 finding it hard to understand, to be honest with you

18 there. I find it very hard to understand.

19 THE INMATE: All I want is a chance to

20 show that I am a responsible person and that I can

21 be a responsible person in the community. Yes, I

22 know I messed up. If I could take it all back, I

23 would, but I can't. Nobody knows, this is going to

24 go with me for the rest of my life. No matter what

25 I do, no matter what I say, I'm always going to be


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 45

1 that person. I'm always going to be the one.

2 Inmates are still suffering because everything

3 trickles down. Not everything that happens is my

4 fault but, because of my stupid, stupid mistake and

5 not doing what I should have done, everyone has

6 paid; everyone. Not just -- I mean all the families

7 that were put out there, worrying about their loved

8 ones, everyone in the community, I can't -- I can't

9 give them back anything. I can't.

10 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: I know, you're

11 beyond that.

12 THE INMATE: If I could --

13 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: You're right,

14 though, it's beyond that. I mean, of course you

15 can't give it all back. You don't have 23 million

16 dollars plus to give back to the state, to the

17 taxpayers, so you can't give back people's fears

18 during that time, of course you can't, and we don't

19 expect that you're going to, but it's important for

20 you and also for us to understand how possibly, with

21 all the training -- with the little bit of training

22 that you're claiming in how this was able to happen,

23 and how to put it together, because the way that

24 you're explaining it, it's just hard to believe,

25 it's hard to believe, and there are some


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 46

1 inconsistencies with the way you've explained it or

2 the answers you've given, there's some

3 inconsistencies there, so I'm not going to --

4 THE INMATE: No one has believed me

5 from the beginning.

6 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Would you

7 believe this story? If you were in the opposite,

8 would you believe --

9 THE INMATE: I also know there was

10 things that weren't put out there.

11 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: I asked you a

12 question. Answer my question.

13 THE INMATE: I don't know. I don't

14 know. I just know that nobody believes me. I can

15 swear on a stack of Bibles and nobody will believe

16 anything I say.

17 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: When did you

18 have the opportunity with Matt to plan this escape?

19 This just doesn't happen, you know, in the morning

20 as they're coming in for work, this takes some time.

21 When did you have the opportunity to engage in that

22 dialog that they needed you to bring in all these

23 pieces of tools?

24 THE INMATE: When I was walking around

25 checking their work. When he first said it, I


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 47

1 walked away, I laughed. I didn't think he would

2 actually ever do anything like that.

3 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: So you're

4 telling me when he would be in doing work, that's

5 when he'd say, I need you to bring this in tomorrow

6 or I need naked pictures of you brought to me,

7 that's when he'd tell you these things?

8 THE INMATE: Yes.

9 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: In a room full

10 of people that are in the program?

11 THE INMATE: Pardon?

12 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: With a room of

13 full people that were also in the program?

14 THE INMATE: Yeah. He would call me

15 over to look at his work or something and, with all

16 these machines, they're not going to hear what he's

17 saying. When I first told him that I wasn't

18 bringing the hacksaw blades in, he got very furious

19 with me.

20 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Okay. So you

21 brought the hacksaw blade in. Maybe he was going to

22 use that to plunge through your husband's chest;

23 maybe it wasn't going to be for an escape, did you

24 ever think about that? Maybe you were bringing them

25 the tools that was going to kill your husband or


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 48

1 somebody else?

2 THE INMATE: No, I didn't.

3 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Does your

4 husband know everything?

5 THE INMATE: Yes. My husband knows

6 everything and my husband still stands by me and he

7 stands with me and he comes and sees me all the

8 time. He knows I love him.

9 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Through this

10 whole interview, you've almost exclusively talked

11 about Inmate Matt, who is dead. You don't mention

12 Inmate Sweat hardly at all and his involvement in

13 this.

14 THE INMATE: Because, apparently, I'm

15 guessing he was the one that was going to do all the

16 actual breaking out stuff. He -- Matt was the one,

17 I guess, he was the mastermind. I don't know. Just

18 please give me a chance.

19 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: And you said

20 in your statement here on your Parole Board Report,

21 "I feel remorse for the death of Inmate Matt." Why

22 do you feel remorse that he died?

23 THE INMATE: I just feel remorse for

24 all of it because --

25 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: No. I'm


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 49

1 asking you specifically your statement here is, "I

2 feel remorse for the death of Inmate Matt." Why do

3 you have remorse for his death?

4 THE INMATE: Because of me not doing

5 the right thing, a man died.

6 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: No. Because

7 an inmate manipulated you, an inmate manipulated

8 you. That inmate broke out of prison, that inmate

9 went out on the run, that inmate confronted a law

10 enforcement officer, that's why he's dead, and he

11 wouldn't have been in any of that situation if he

12 didn't commit the original crime. And you further

13 go on to say, "And for what Inmate Sweat is going

14 through now because of my actions." What is he

15 going through, confinement? He's an inmate.

16 THE INMATE: Confinement.

17 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: He's an

18 inmate. He's supposed to be confined. It's like --

19 it's now like you have taken responsibility for

20 these two inmates. It's like you've taken over

21 what's happened to them, woe, is them. You know

22 what? They led a life that was non-conducive to

23 good behavior, they put themselves further deep in

24 it.

25 THE INMATE: I know.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 50

1 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: You aided in

2 that, but everyone makes their own choices, as you

3 did. This was not a mistake, this was a clear

4 choice that you made to do this. We're required to

5 take training every year, including sexual

6 harassment training, every year there's GORE

7 mandates through DOCCS. You weren't given sexual

8 harassment training every year?

9 THE INMATE: We weren't given training

10 three quarters of the time. We were supposed to

11 have training and they wouldn't have anything for

12 us, nothing. A lot of times we sat in our shops on

13 training days doing absolutely nothing.

14 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: As I told you

15 at the beginning, as Commissioner Coppola touched on

16 it too --

17 THE INMATE: I know yous don't believe

18 me.

19 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: No. There's

20 right and wrong, there's choices. There's choices

21 every one --

22 THE INMATE: I made the wrong choices.

23 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Yes, ma'am,

24 you did. Yes, ma'am, you did.

25 THE INMATE: I have to deal with that.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 51

1 I have to deal with it everyday.

2 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: You know, you

3 say that you've got to deal with this everyday and

4 you're sorry for all these people. What do you

5 think the community is going to say when you go back

6 out? Because you go out some point in time, whether

7 that's today, down the road. Who knows? We have

8 yet to make a decision. What do you think the

9 community is going to say? When you come back and

10 you're at the diner, working, what do you think the

11 community is going to say?

12 THE INMATE: I know what they're going

13 to say.

14 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: And how are

15 you going to handle that?

16 THE INMATE: I'm going to handle it

17 like I do, like I handle everything in here.

18 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Not very well

19 from the looks of it today. How are you going to

20 handle that when the first person comes in, you're

21 pouring their cup of coffee and they're like, Oh,

22 you're that woman; how are you going to handle that?

23 Is that going to send you back into bad decision

24 making?

25 THE INMATE: No.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 52

1 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Is that going

2 to resurrect the past history of substance abuse?

3 THE INMATE: I can handle that out

4 there because I'll be with my family. I'll have the

5 support of them.

6 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Which then

7 goes to my last and final statement, your family was

8 there through this whole thing, you should have went

9 to them, even if --

10 THE INMATE: I know I should have.

11 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: -- you didn't

12 feel like you had anywhere to turn to within the

13 DOCCS' system, you had a family.

14 THE INMATE: I know. I know.

15 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Nothing

16 further.

17 THE INMATE: Trust me, I know.

18 BY COMMISSIONER STANFORD:

19 Q. Ms. Mitchell --

20 A. Yes, ma'am.

21 Q. -- I just want to confirm you understand you have

22 restitution. According to your uniform sentence and

23 commitment sheet, it says that the restitution issued by

24 the court at the time of your sentence was $87,825.10,

25 is that right?
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 53

1 A. Yes, ma'am.

2 Q. Has that been converted to a -- completely to a civil

3 judgement?

4 A. I don't know what you mean, ma'am.

5 Q. Are you paying any portion of that now through the

6 prison -- inmate prison account?

7 A. Yes, ma'am.

8 Q. So some monies are being taken out of your earnings?

9 A. Yes. Yes, ma'am.

10 Q. I want to note that our records indicate that you

11 have been designated an

12 , you're aware of that?

13 A. I don't know what that is.

14 Q.

15

16

17

18

19 A. Yes, ma'am.

20 Q. Do you know the name of ?

21 A. No, I don't. I have it back in my room. I'm not

22 sure what it is.

23 Q.

24 A. .

25 Q.
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 54

1 A. .

2 Q.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And which of that?

6 A. Group time.

7 Q. And how often is that?

8 A. We get a -- the third Thursday of every month.

9 Q. And is that helpful to you?

10 A. Yes, it is.

11 Q.

12

13

14 is that right?

15 A. Yes, ma'am.

16 Q.

17 ?

18 A. No, ma'am.

19 Q. ?

20 A. No, ma'am.

21 Q. Looking forward to your future, do you think

22

23

24 ?

25 A. I feel that --
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 55

4 .

5 Q.

8 ?

9 A. Yes, ma'am.

10 Q. Okay.

11 A. That's why I already have that set up that, as soon

12 as I go home, all I have to do is call to set up a few

13 appointments.

14 Q.

15

16 ?

17 A. No.

18 Q. How about poor judgement and reasoning skills, do you

19 think that that may have been a contributing factor?

20 A. It could have, definitely.

21 Q. How about impulse control, do you think that could

22 have been a factor in the choices you made?

23 A. Yes, ma'am.

24 Q. And you did say that there was some degree of

25 flattery or compliments that were being paid, is that


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 56

1 how that all began, the manipulation, it began with

2 people --

3 A. People.

4 Q. -- particularly Mr. Matt being nice to you?

5 A. Yes, ma'am.

6 Q. And how did it turn? When was the first time

7 something happened and it was different, it wasn't so

8 sweet, it wasn't so nice, it wasn't so complimentary?

9 Can you remember the first instance where it felt it

10 made you feel fear instead of complimenting?

11 A. When he had asked me to bring in the hacksaw blades,

12 I said, I can't do something like that, and he got very

13 angry -- well, I say "angry", but, actually, when I was

14 walking away, he made a comment. I didn't quite hear

15 what it was. I just have an assumption that it probably

16 wasn't good when I -- whatever it was he said, because

17 he was angry the rest of the day, and it just -- it

18 wasn't --

19 Q. And how long was that moment before you're actually

20 bringing in the first contraband?

21 A. It was probably a couple weeks because he started

22 acting really different. I'm not sure.

23 Q. So the time period in which you brought in the

24 contraband was just a two-week period of time leading up

25 to the escape?
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 57

1 A. No, no, no. No, I brought the hacksaw blades in long

2 before the escape actually happened. It's just, like I

3 said, he --

4 Q. So it was about two weeks from that moment when he

5 had a reaction to you're saying "no" initially to the

6 time when you gave in and started bringing things in?

7 A. Yes, ma'am.

8 Q. And how long was that before the escape?

9 A. It was at least two or three months before the -- the

10 escape.

11 Q. Now, in the time in between, that time when it felt

12 different to you, his reaction, and the escape, did he

13 ever go back to being nice, complimentary?

14 A. Yes, he did.

15 Q. Sweat even?

16 A. Yes, ma'am, he did.

17 Q. And how would you describe your interaction with

18 Sweat during this whole period of time, from the time

19 that Matt first started in your class and behaved nicely

20 and the escape, how would you describe your contact with

21 the other man?

22 A. The other man wasn't in my shop at the time. I

23 didn't see him all the time. I only saw him

24 periodically and I would -- you know, he'd say hi and

25 I'd say hi back. He might say, How was your day? And
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 58

1 I'd answer back, but he wasn't actually in the shop. He

2 was in another shop because he'd been taken out of my

3 shop over something to do with a comment that he made to

4 one of my bosses; they come in one day and took him out,

5 so --

6 Q. So it sounds like you and he had a fairly cordial

7 relationship, but not to the extent like with Matt?

8 A. Yes, ma'am.

9 Q. And at what point in time prior to the escape did you

10 know they were working together?

11 A. When Inmate Matt come in and told me that Inmate

12 Sweat had made a hole through the wall, he was going

13 down and he found a tool box with power tools or

14 something in it, it was tools anyway in the box, and he

15 had broke the lock or picked the lock or something and

16 got into the tool box that had been left there.

17 Q. And at this point, were you given to understand he

18 had made the hole because of the tools that you brought

19 in and found some other tools as a result of going

20 through that hole?

21 A. Yes. Yes, ma'am.

22 Q. And Matt shared that with you, and that's when you

23 knew that he was working with Sweat?

24 A. Yes, ma'am.

25 Q. Thank you, ma'am. I don't have any other questions.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 59

1 Is there anything that you feel is important for us to

2 know about your plans, the work you've done on yourself,

3 anything we haven't talked about that you think is

4 important to leave us with?

5 A. I just -- I worked really hard to -- I'm sorry. I

6 worked really hard to, like I said, make myself a better

7 person, understanding what I did wrong, how I got to

8 that point and I just wish that I could take everything

9 back. I apologize for everything, the fear. I can't

10 take back everything, I wish I could. I just wish and I

11 pray to God that you will allow me the chance to prove

12 that I can be that respected person that I used to be,

13 and that I can show you that I can be in the community

14 and you don't have to worry about me ever screwing up

15 again.

16 Q. Thank you, ma'am. We will take everything into

17 account.

18 COMMISSIONER STANFORD: One more

19 question?

20 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: As we continue

21 on the conversation, things come up and then I have

22 questions.

23 You told Commissioner Stanford that

24 you had brought the hacksaw in about three months

25 prior to their actual escape, right?


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 60

1 THE INMATE: Yes, sir.

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. So you

3 brought the hacksaw in. So prior to bringing in the

4 hacksaw, how much time -- you know, the

5 relationship, we'll say, or whether -- you know,

6 whatever was going on prior to bringing in the

7 hacksaw, how much time had elapsed there?

8 THE INMATE: What do you mean, sir?

9 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Well, from the

10 beginning of it being more than him just being the

11 inmate in your shop to little, you know, gestures or

12 comments or whatever started happening, how much

13 time had elapsed between there and you bringing in

14 the hacksaw? How long did that go on for that you

15 brought in the hacksaw?

16 THE INMATE: Before I brought 'em in,

17 probably about a month.

18 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: And when did

19 you bring in the pictures of yourself?

20 THE INMATE: Those were the last thing

21 that I brought in and that was -- I don't know. It

22 was just before they escaped. I'm not --

23 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. How long

24 had he been in your shop prior to bringing in the

25 hacksaw?
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 61

1 THE INMATE: Inmate Matt, you mean?

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Yes.

3 THE INMATE: He had been -- well, I

4 had been in that shop a year.

5 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. So he

6 was already in the shop when you started working

7 there?

8 THE INMATE: Yes. He was already in

9 the shop, yes.

10 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: So 11 months

11 went by and there was nothing and then, all of a

12 sudden, something?

13 THE INMATE: You mean as far as

14 wanting the tools?

15 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: No, as far as

16 the relationship. I mean you said you brought him

17 in the hacksaw, you didn't tell anybody he grabbed

18 you, kissed you, tried to force your head down. You

19 said that all those things were out of fear because

20 he was running the prison and you didn't know who to

21 go to, but are you telling us that in -- within 30

22 days time, he was able to --

23 THE INMATE: No, no, no. I mean me.

24 I would laugh and joke with him; of course, I

25 laughed and joked with all the inmates. I mean I


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 62

1 wasn't -- I never was --

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: How did he

3 instill enough fear in you, and you believed it so

4 much, you're saying it only took about 30 days of a

5 different type of relationship for you to actually

6 bring him in a hacksaw? So he in someway was in

7 your presence all that time and yet it was only 11

8 months afterwards that somehow things changed and

9 now within that one month you went from --

10 THE INMATE: Because when that man

11 said he was going to do something, he did it.

12 Because there was one inmate that come in and the

13 inmate didn't like working for females and he was,

14 you know, sarcastic, but I didn't pay any intention

15 to it. Well, Inmate Matt had went to another inmate

16 in another shop and said, You either take care of it

17 or I am going to.

18 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Why would he do

19 that for you?

20 THE INMATE: Because he had always

21 told my husband and I, and Inmate Sweat too, they

22 had always told my husband and I, if anything goes

23 down in the prison, you won't have to worry, no one

24 will hurt you. We'll make sure you're safe.

25 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Wait a minute.


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 63

1 He told your husband that?

2 THE INMATE: Yes.

3 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: I thought you

4 said your husband had no knowledge of any of this

5 that was going on?

6 THE INMATE: No. He told -- when we

7 first started he had said that we never had to worry

8 about anything happening to us because they would

9 make sure we were safe, both of us.

10 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. And at

11 that point, you're saying -- I understand your

12 relationship that was very twisted, in my mind, but

13 now you're saying your husband was told this by

14 Matt, wouldn't your husband, you know, why are you

15 protecting me? What are you protecting me for? I

16 just work here. Why would Matt tell your husband,

17 if anything ever went down in that prison, that you

18 would be protected, why would he just out of the

19 blue say that?

20 THE INMATE: I'm sure we weren't the

21 only ones he ever said it to.

22 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: No. Let's

23 focus on -- you're the one being interviewed. Why

24 would your husband -- if he didn't know about what

25 was going on, why wouldn't he question an inmate


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 64

1 just out of the blue, gratuitously saying, for no

2 reason whatsoever, Hey, if anything ever goes down

3 in here, we'll protect you and Joyce; you don't have

4 to worry about anything. Why would he say that to

5 your husband?

6 THE INMATE: Because he always said we

7 treated them like human beings, not like scums of

8 the earth.

9 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: And your

10 husband never questioned to you that you were around

11 that more than he was, he never questioned you, Why

12 is he saying this? Why -- is there anything going

13 on? What's going on here that he would want to

14 protect us?

15 THE INMATE: No.

16 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Or was there

17 something going on at the prison, was there an

18 impending riot or something? It's very bizarre

19 that --

20 THE INMATE: Pardon?

21 COMMISSIONER J. SMITH: Or your

22 husband didn't further say, you know, was something

23 going to go down at the prison? I mean heightened

24 security? I mean I would agree with Commissioner

25 Coppola that to say something out of the blue like


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 65

1 that is very, very unusual.

2 THE INMATE: It was -- when we first

3 started, I mean I -- I don't know why he said it.

4 All I know is that's what he said. Him and Sweat

5 would always tell us, if anything ever happens, you

6 wouldn't have to worry about anybody hurting you.

7 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: You said that

8 you had just a passerby relationship with Sweat.

9 Why would Sweat say that if you didn't really have

10 anything to do with him? You didn't know that he

11 was involved with Matt until they were ready to

12 break out.

13 THE INMATE: I said they said this

14 before, when we first started, because we treated

15 them like people.

16 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: What do you

17 mean, "first started" what, first started your jobs?

18 THE INMATE: Yes. After a little

19 while of being --

20 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: I thought you

21 worked there for several years?

22 THE INMATE: I did, but when we first

23 started -- because we were all -- I had a lot of

24 inmates tell me that they enjoyed working for myself

25 and my husband because we treated them like human


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 66

1 beings, not like scums of the earth --

2 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: What was your

3 husband's position?

4 THE INMATE: The same as mine.

5 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Oh, but in a

6 different shop?

7 THE INMATE: He was in a different

8 shop, but in the same building.

9 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Was he -- was

10 Sweat in his shop?

11 THE INMATE: He's worked with Sweat,

12 yes.

13 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: It just seems

14 kind of odd that out of the blue they would offer

15 that type of protection to you and, you know, even

16 out of gratuity for treating them like human beings.

17 But, anyway, you're saying that the time between the

18 relationship changing and the bringing in of the

19 hacksaw was about a month?

20 THE INMATE: Yes, sir.

21 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: He must have

22 been a magician, because it only took him about 30

23 days to go from being nice to being mean to you

24 believing he was going to kill you and that he had

25 all this power, but the prior 11 months that you had
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 67

1 been around him, not one iota of any of that had

2 taken place. You told Commissioner Stanford that he

3 -- because you kind of brushed him off on one of his

4 requests -- that he was mad and he said something as

5 he walked away, but you had no idea what he said,

6 but you just could tell he was mad. I mean he's

7 just an inmate that's in your shop and you didn't

8 even know what he said. He could've said, All

9 right. I was just joking. But you were in fear so

10 much, but you didn't even know what he said when he

11 walked away. It sounds like you're -- either you're

12 not being forthcoming with everything that's going

13 on between you and him, or it sounds like you were

14 so easily manipulated that it shocks the belief that

15 this could happen over a 30-day period of time but,

16 yet, you were around him for 11 months, and for some

17 reason within that 30 days, the whole world was

18 turned upside down, including yours.

19 THE INMATE: Apparently, I'm easily

20 manipulated, but that's at that time, I'm not

21 anymore.

22 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Okay. Well,

23 I'm glad that in a longer period of time you feel

24 that that's better but, you know, let's be honest,

25 I've led you down some questions here that you've


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 68

1 changed your statements a few times during the

2 interview, so you don't even know if I was

3 manipulating you to get those answers out of you,

4 right?

5 THE INMATE: Trust me, I know you

6 don't believe me.

7 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: I didn't say I

8 didn't believe you. I just said it doesn't add up,

9 that's basically all I can add to it, so I'm --

10 THE INMATE: No one has believed me

11 right from day one, I know that.

12 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: All right.

13 Well, thank you for answering --

14 THE INMATE: No one will give me the

15 benefit of the doubt.

16 COMMISSIONER COPPOLA: Thank you for

17 answering my questions. I'm finished.

18 BY COMMISSIONER STANFORD:

19 Q. Okay, ma'am. I do want the record to note that

20 several times during our interview you have become

21 emotional and teary. I know this has been hard for you.

22 A. I just want to go home.

23 Q. I thank you for answering our questions. We do know

24 that going home is a priority for you, but I want you to

25 know that your work begins when you say it begins. You
JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 69

1 want to show your -- yourself stronger, a changed

2 person, you have the power to do that right where you

3 are. I'm pleased by what I see in the record, the

4 efforts that you're making, okay?

5 A. I can tell you that I don't get angry when women say

6 something. I let it go in one ear and right out the

7 other. I've -- well, I've even looked at them when they

8 said, This is all your fault this is happening. I'll

9 say, Yeah, it's my fault. Good thing I got broad

10 shoulders. I'm not trying to be mean when I say it, I

11 just -- I've taken the responsibility for all of it.

12 Like I said, woman are still -- or inmates, period, all

13 the way around are still feeling the trickle because of

14 my lack of common sense. Everyone is still feeling

15 that. I wish to God I could take it back. I wish I

16 could just take it all back, I wish I could go home and

17 prove to you that, if you let me go home, I am going to

18 be that responsible, respected person in the community

19 again. I can do that.

20 Q. Well, that goes to my point, ma'am. You're taking

21 some action, we can see the fruit of that in your parole

22 report, the completions that you have made. The

23 information in your file shows you are working and

24 moving in the right direction, so don't think that it

25 starts on some magic day. You've already begun the work


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 70

1 and we see it, okay?

2 A. (Inmate nods head.)

3 Q. Thank you.

4 A. Yes, ma'am.

5 Q. Thank you, ma'am. We'll make a decision after

6 deliberating, finishing review of your records, and

7 we'll get you a copy of it as soon as possible.

8 A. Thank you, ma'am. Have a good day.

9 Q. You too.

10 (The inmate was excused.)

11 (After due deliberation by the Parole

12 Board panel, the following decision

13 was rendered:)

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JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 71

1 D E C I S I O N.

2 Merit release denied; reappear at

3 parole eligibility.

4 The Board of Parole has considered

5 your institutional adjustment, however,

6 discretionary release shall not be granted merely as

7 a reward for good conduct or efficient performance

8 of duties while confined. As noted by Judge Ryan at

9 your sentencing, The economic and non-economic

10 costs suffered by so many people is incalculable.

11 Yet, it is fair to say that your crimes cost New

12 York State millions in response to the escape of

13 Inmates Matt and Sweat that your actions

14 facilitated.

15 You allowed your common sense and

16 supervisory duties to be compromised by developing

17 unprofessional relationships with Matt and Sweat.

18 You did not tell anyone of escape related requests

19 or plans as events were occurring and offered

20 reasons for not doing so that neither Judge Ryan nor

21 the Board found credible. You present yourself more

22 as a victim than a responsible participant and

23 appear to be emotionally unstable and easily

24 manipulated.

25 In spite of your cooperation after the


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 72

1 escape, your presentence investigation report

2 reflects that your statements included lies and half

3 truths given in a piecemeal fashion. This

4 apparently willful failure to volunteer

5 comprehensive and truthful disclosure of information

6 began during the investigation and continued during

7 your interview with the Board.

8 The Board has weighed the contents of

9 your privately prepared parole report. Letters of

10 support from your husband, son and others are

11 compelling as they describe your positive qualities.

12 Receipt of merit consideration and earned

13 eligibility, program evaluations and completions

14 have been noted along with your stated and

15 documented residence and employment release plans.

16 We question the propriety of your goal to further

17 your education and work in criminal justice. We have

18 also considered your favorable COMPAS risk

19 assessment and individualized case plan.

20 All relevant factors considered, while

21 guided by risk and needs principles, the presumption

22 created in your favor is rebutted by our review of

23 the record and interview that lead us to conclude

24 that if released at this time that your release

25 would be incompatible with the welfare of society


JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 73

1 and that there is a reasonable probability that you

2 would not live and remain at liberty without again

3 violating the law.

5 (All commissioners concur.)

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JOYCE E. MITCHELL - DIN #15-G-0834 NYSID # 74

1 C E R T I F I C A T I O N

3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and

4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the notes

5 taken by me on the above cause and that this is a correct

6 transcript of the same to the best of my ability.

9 Christina M. Wolcott

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