The escape of convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat in June launched a weeks-long manhunt that drew national attention.
Now, a New York Times report on Tuesday says the escape also led to a “campaign of retribution,” with inmates along the same block of units as Matt and Sweat being subject to violence that included beatings while handcuffed, chokings, and head slams.
Sweat and Matt’s housing area—called the “honor block” as it was an earned privilege for prisoners who had exhibited good behavior—was especially targeted, with many inmates being moved from the Clinton Correctional Facility to other prisons. Some were placed in solitary confinement, a reversal of the prison conditions they had earned, despite there being no confirmed link between other prisoners and the escapees.
Sixty inmates have filed official complaints with Prisoners’ Legal Services, a group that assists inmates with their legal rights. The Department of Corrections’ Office of Special Investigations has also become involved.