Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lunch Interrupted: DOCS & The Escape Of Rimell Mitchell From AMC.

This is part five in a series of posts on Crime & Punishment in New York State.

In this post Upstream has two final questions for Glenn Goord, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services.

On April 25, 2005, Rimell Mitchell, a violent felon in DOCS custody, escaped from the Albany Medical Center.


1. We know that two of your employees were enjoying a late and long lunch at OTB on Central Avenue in Albany while Mitchell was escaping. Could you tell us where your other employees were?

Investigator’s Notes on DOCS Officials from April 25, 2005 During the Time Rimell Mitchell was Escaping from Albany Medical Center.

“2:18pm at OTB. Investigator drove into parking lot and Breen’s Tan car (484-GR) was in the lot. At 3:06pm both Breen and DiBello left OTB and got into the car and returned to DOCS Bldg 2.

At 3:13pm Kevin Breen walked by himself to the side entrance and looked around for a minute. (to avoid swiping in) He then walked around to the front of the building and talked to Dibello’s secretary. He then proceeded into the front entrance and someone let him in.

Minutes later, Russ DiBello entered the side, employee entrance by swiping in. Surveillance was ended.”

Breen returns from OTB
DOCS' Officials Hustling Back To Work After Hearing Of Mitchell's Escape.

2. I gather from your report on the escape incident that you were not entirely satisfied with DOCS role in the escape and capture of Mitchell. Do you think DOCS role in this situation could have been improved if DOCS’ employees were at their desks during this time?

Conclusion of Commissioner Goord’s Report on Rimell Mitchell’s Escape from Albany Medical Center.

"First and foremost, Commissioner Goord apologizes on behalf of the Department of Correctional Services for this escape, caused solely by a breach in implementation of DOCS’established security policies and procedures.

He acknowledges that if not for the professionalism with which the Albany Police Department took the lead in directing and coordinating the escape pursuit, this incident might well have had a different conclusion.

At the same time, Commissioner Goord thanks the staffs of AMC, CDPC and the Division of State Police for their cooperation and efforts throughout this incident.

He especially commends the high level of cooperation and professionalism that Albany Medical Center has always extended during its decades-long relationship with DOCS: “We are proud of our relationship, because of AMC’s national reputation for medical excellence as well as for its high standards of patient care.”

While the report points out DOCS’s good track record in the operation of T-1, Commissioner Goord believes the bottom line remains obvious: “One escape is too many.”

Commissioner Goord said, “It is my intention to redouble our efforts in meeting DOCS’responsibility to ensure inmates brought to Albany for medical appointments are held in the most secure confinement that staffing and modern technology allow. We owe no less to AMC’s employees, patients and visitors, as well as to the citizens of Albany.” "


  • How many times do you have Correctional employees in OTB? My goodness, it seems you have talked about a few occasions already. Do you think Goord knew about these visits? Where did everyone think they were when their desks were empty? How many other employees go "missing" every day?

    By Anonymous Disgusted in Albany, at 7:53 AM  

  • So why hasn't the local media covered this?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:23 AM  

  • I don't want to be too critical of the local media because I rely heavily on them for this blog. Many local papers and television stations do a good job. My order in preference for getting the news is newspapers, television and then radio. Some reporters, however, seem much more interested in reporting on such fluff as American Idol rather than American Idle.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 11:42 AM  

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