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TRUE CRIME BOOKS BLOG

FROM AUTHOR HARRY N. MACLEAN

Take It From A Former Guard

I was a guard for a year in a maximum security prison on the east coast. I worked everything from the yard to the gun towers to death row. The recent escape of the two prisoners in upstate New York reminded me of one thing that was pounded into us from day one in training: when you’re doing a prisoner count, the only thing you count is “Living breathing flesh.” Not pillows bunched up under blankets, the oldest trick in the book. The brilliance and planning of the escape also reminded me of another rubric: “Don’t think because they (the prisoners) are in here that they’re stupid.” Finally, I know that a helluva lot more people than one woman knew what was going on. I guarantee you that every prisoner on that tier knew of the planned escape. The guards should have had snitches that alerted them to the plans. At a minimum the guards should have found the drills in a shakedown after they heard rumors. I wouldn’t rule out more than one being in on it. This story isn’t over.

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