New York State Police have arrested Clinton Correctional Facility worker Joyce Mitchell for helping convicted killers David Sweat and Richard Matt who escaped from the prison last weekend.
Joyce Mitchell, 51, was charged with providing tool parts used in the breakout.
Workshop instructor Joyce Mitchell appeared in court accused of befriending Richard Matt and David Sweat and giving them contraband. She pleaded not guilty to charges of helping them escape jail.
David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped a week ago using power tools to cut through their cell walls at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York state.
Joyce Mitchell has been jailed for the weekend and will appear in court again on June 15. If convicted she faces up to eight years in prison.
According to prosecutors, Joyce Mitchell gave Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, hacksaw blades and drill bits, but did not provide the more powerful tools they used.
She also planned to be the pair’s getaway driver but changed her mind at the last minute, said investigators who are also looking into whether she had improper ties to one of the men.
Joyce Mitchell’s family has said she would not have helped an escape.
Richard Matt and David Sweat cut through brick and steel to crawl through an underground pipe and emerge from a manhole outside the prison’s 40ft walls.
The manhunt – involving hundreds of police officers searching stretching in New York State, Vermont and Canada – is now into its seventh day.
Bad weather has hampered the search, police say, but the men are also at a disadvantage if they have not found shelter.