Here’s a very obscure and interesting fact about prison that a lot of people don’t seem to know: it’s hard to escape. I know this must seem mysterious and inscrutable, but it’s true. They built these things to keep people in. Guards, walls, snipers, barbed wire, fences, moats, guard dogs, cameras, floodlights, even the ocean — all designed to keep prisoners inside until the system says otherwise.
Still, there are more escape attempts a year than you might think. Predictably, most of these attempts were made through Dikembe Mutombo in Geico ads. Inevitably, a guard blocks you, wags his finger and plays a charming prank, “Not at my house.” This causes many jailbreak attempts to fail, and there are very bad results at best.
Richard Matt and David Sweat became famous when prison officials discovered their 2015 cinematic escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility. A pair of prison staff members snuck the convicts chisels and drills inside hamburger meat, which they then used to dig a long and elaborate tunnel that led into a drainage pipe. They exited it through a manhole, free men.
News outlets compared the incident to the movie “Shawshank Redemption,” and rightly so. Sweat, upon hearing this, would say, “Shawshank ain’t got s— on me.” And he’s right. In “Shawshank,” the escapees live out the rest of their days in peace. In the case of Matt and Sweat, they were both found within a few weeks. Matt was shot and killed. Sweat was captured, his sentence increased (past a life sentence, somehow), and he was forced to pay the prison back nearly $80,000 for repairs.