We were all doing time. The inmates were serving their sentences and the staff were anticipating their retirements. We were all growing old together in this historic city hidden from public view - the infamous Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.
Having earned the nickname of “Little Siberia”, the brutal winters contributed to its already depressing facade. During the long, dark hours, the wind howled outside and sounded like ghosts haunting the facility.
Clinton had a proud past. Every employee chose to work there and there was always a transfer list of staff waiting to work there. It was a hard prison for hard criminals. Having housed the likes of mobster, Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz, “Preppy Killer” Robert Chambers, Rappers Tupac Shakur and Ol’ Dirty Bastard and countless other infamous criminals, Clinton staff knew how to handle even the toughest of men.
Clinton was a place of routine. Each day was very much like day before. It was a big, clunking machine that simply ran each day unless someone in the administration used poor judgement and tried to implement an unsafe change in policy or targeted the wrong staff member.
The author, Michael H. Blaine spent a career at Clinton. Having been an Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant, his story shows the changes he observed and what he experienced at each rank he earned. How he was targeted for reporting the misconduct of an employee and retaliated against for demanding equal treatment.
Refusing to compromise his principles and sickened by the downward spiral that Clinton was experiencing, he retired and the first successful escape of Clinton happened on June 6, 2015 - less than 10 1/2 months after he left.
Learn about the inner working of this massive prison. It is the first look inside at what it is like to work at the Clinton Correctional Facility, it’s effects on those on both sides of the bars and why nobody escapes the Invisible Walls of Dannemora