Richard Matt was killed in a shootout with police, and Sweat was captured two days later.
Following the report, Albany correspondent Nick Perreault talked with a few lawmakers who have their own ideas for changes to the system.
Dannemora County Assemblywoman Janet Duprey says the Inspector General’s report puts too much blame on the former superintendent of Clinton Correctional, Steve Racette.
She says the superintendent made requests for funding prior to the break out.
“Things that were needed for funding such as cameras, such as the system to keep better track of the count, the night count, more staffing, re-filling the posts, a lot of those things have now occurred,” Duprey said.
After reading the report, Assemblyman Dan O’Donnell questions whether the state can police themselves. He’s calling for an independent ombudsman to oversee state prison operations.
“Rather than try to create our own, we went to look to see other countries and other states that do it and this is a model that I think would be helpful,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell’s bill would give a third party ombudsman the power to investigate state prisons separate from the states’ work, handle complaints from officers and prisoners, and work with the department to do their job – all complaints the inspector general says could be a conflict of interest, and don’t happen now with state oversight.
Assemblyman O’Donnell says this would not stop the department from their own investigations, but be designed to add another party to oversee prison actions.
However, Assemblywoman Duprey thinks change should continue from within.
“If there’s an incident, we have the state police, we have the BCI,” Duprey said. “We have the OSI, that I think is better now.”
“Clearly, I think we need to do a better job of oversight, and we need to make sure this never happens again,” said O’Donnell.
New York would not be the first state to have an outside source oversight corrections.
Six other states currently have an ombudsman including California, New Jersey, Indiana, Hawaii, Iowa and Georgia.
The plan would model the California style.