Joyce Mitchell, Who Helped N.Y. Prisoners Escape in 2015, Released from Custody After Serving 4 Years

Joyce “Tillie” Mitchell, the 55-year-old corrections worker who helped the two convicted murderers she had became romantically involved with escape prison, was released from custody Thursday morning after serving more than four years behind bars.

PEOPLE confirms Mitchell, sentenced in 2015 to a maximum of eight years, was freed from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, located in New York’s Westchester County.

Mitchell will be on supervised release until June 2022, according to online records.

In 2015, Mitchell, a married prison tailor with children, was convicted for providing material support to Clinton Correctional Facility prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat in the way of hacksaw blades, chisels and other tools she’d smuggled into the prison in frozen hamburger meat.

The case attracted national attention, and was the inspiration for Showtime’s award-winning miniseries Escape at Dannemora, which was directed and produced by Ben Stiller.

Patricia Arquette played Mitchell in the miniseries, and was awarded a Golden Globe for her performance.

In addition to her sentence, Mitchell was ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution for damages incurred during the escape.

Using the tools Mitchell had smuggled in, the two prisoners cut through a brick wall and a steam pipe which they found their way through, eventually escaping through a manhole.

A multi-state search for the two men unfolded over the next 22 days.

The manhunt came to an end when Matt was shot and killed by police.

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Sweat was also shot, but survived and was apprehended.

Investigators eventually learned that the two prisoners had seduced Mitchell as a part of an elaborate plot to escape.


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