Sheriff responds to chance of jail break in Chenango

NORWICH – While police continue the search for two fugitives who escaped from prison in Clinton County, the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office is working around the clock to ensure something similar doesn’t happen here at home.

Chenango County Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting Jr. responded to questions from county officials about the prison break at a meeting of the county’s Safety and Rules Committee on Wednesday, sharing insights on the matter that’s made national headlines over the last two weeks. He said the correctional facility in Chenango County is taking measures to prevent similar mishaps from occurring.

Things could have – and should have – been done differently that may have stopped the schemes of convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat, Cutting claimed.

“I think you really have to take a look at these people who have committed violent crimes. When you’re dealing with these kinds of inmates, you have to maintain vigilance,” he said. “I don’t want to say an escape can never happen here. It can happen. Inmates have 24 hours a day, seven days a week to figure out how to manipulate. And that is really why a lot of inmates are here, because they're manipulators. They’re con men; so they use a lot of different tactics to try to gain favor with staff. That’s ultimately how the breakdown in your guard comes, as they start befriending each other.”

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