A former prison worker who helped two convicted murders escape from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York was sentenced Monday to up to seven years behind bars.

Under the terms of a plea deal, Joyce Mitchell, 51, faces a minimum sentence of 2 years and 4 months in prison. She pleaded guilty to charges stemming from her role in providing convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat with tools such as hacksaws, drill bits and lighted eyeglasses ahead of their June 6 prison break.

Office of the State Child Advocate

Connecticut's Office of the Child Advocate has released a follow up to their July report on conditions at the state's two juvenile detention centers. 

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A Connecticut man who spent more than 12 years in prison for a crime it was determined he did not commit has been awarded $4 million by the state.

Lawrence Miller Jr., who now lives in Branford, received the funds under a state law that established a mechanism to compensate those who file claims of wrongful incarceration and can validate their cases.

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The state's top prosecutor wants the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its recent landmark decision to completely eliminate the death penalty in the state. The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane has filed a motion for argument and motions to strike the 4-3 decision, which was handed down in August.

A new report from Yale Law School looks at solitary confinement in the U.S. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A few miles down the road from the University of Connecticut campus in Mansfield, Connecticut, an abandoned prison sits empty. It's shrouded from public view by a fence of vines and razor wire. 

First in a three-part report on solitary confinement use in U.S. prisons.

In the yard at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, gray-haired men make their way up to a small stage. A towering stone prison wall rises overhead. One by one they sit at a scratchy microphone and tell their stories — of being locked up 23 hours a day in a place that just about broke them.

"This place here really did something to me psychologically," says former inmate Anthony Goodman.

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The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of a full repeal of the state's death penalty on Thursday.

The decision comes more than three years after a repeal of the death penalty for crimes committed after the law was enacted. It means that eleven people currently on death row in the state will be spared execution.

Susan Meiselas/Three Guineas Fund Project

A collaborative art installation created by ten women incarcerated at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. 

CTN screenshot

The first two years of high school were a breeze for Ibrahim Adetona. But he started to struggle during his junior year, and he was eventually suspended from school for 10 days. After that, his struggles got worse.

Chion Wolf

  Our guest this hour, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, was at the center of a public hearing this week at the state capitol in the wake of two reports critical of the state’s juvenile detention facilities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Committee on Children met on Wednesday to learn more about the conditions at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for boys and the nearby Pueblo Unit for girls. 

The Obama administration Friday is taking a small step toward expanding adult prisoners' access to federal Pell grants. The money would help pay for college-level classes behind bars.

It's an old and controversial question: Should federal Pell grants be used to help prisoners pay for college?

Tomorrow, at a prison in Jessup, Md., Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are expected to unveil a program to do just that. The new plan would create a limited pilot program allowing some students in prison to use Pell grants to pay for college classes.

The key word there is "limited" — because there's only so much the administration can do. To understand why, we have to go back to November 1993.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Earlier this week, the state Department of Children and Families took emergency steps to protect children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit, including the phase out of face-down and mechanical restraints, expanded clinical staffing, and required counseling sessions when a youth is in isolation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report by the state Office of the Child Advocate reveals dangerous safety issues for children incarcerated at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Pueblo Girls Unit.

"What are we trying to accomplish for these youth, and can you really accomplish meaningful treatment, meaningful trauma-informed treatment, in a juvenile prison?" asked Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan.

After David Sweat was captured — three weeks into his escape — police spoke to him while he was still recovering in a hospital bed.

Jonas Dahlbert

In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Norway, most of them teenagers. He's serving a 21-year prison term, which can be extended. But in the meantime, he'll study political science at Oslo University from his prison cell. 

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Gov. Dannel Malloy told Connecticut inmates about a new state law that attempts to give nonviolent criminals more opportunities to get drug treatment and successfully reintegrate back into society.

President Obama has made incarceration reform a White House theme this week. On Monday, he commuted the sentences of 46 mostly nonviolent drug offenders; and on Tuesday, he spoke about reducing the prison population in a speech to the NAACP.

"The United States is home to 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners," Obama said. "Think about that. Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China's."

George Chochos

Back in 1990, there were more than 300 college-in-prison programs in the U.S. By 1997, the number was down to less than ten -- eliminated as part of the nation’s movement to get "tough on crime." 

Twelve officials at an upstate New York prison have been placed on leave, as authorities investigate how two convicted killers managed to escape from the facility on June 6.

Among those placed on leave are Superintendent Steven Racette, of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, and Deputy Superintendent Stephen Brown, according to multiple media accounts.

David Sweat, one of two convicted murderers whose escape June 6 from a New York prison sparked a statewide manhunt, is in critical condition after being shot Sunday by a state police sergeant.

Sgt. Jay Cook spotted Sweat walking down a rural road near the town of Constable, N.Y., near the border with Canada, and ordered him to stop. When Sweat tried to flee, Cook shot him twice, authorities said.

"The nightmare is finally over," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a Sunday news conference.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Authorities on a massive manhunt for a pair of convicted murderers, who made an extraordinary escape from a prison in upstate New York two weeks ago, have shifted the focus of their search to Allegany County near the Pennsylvania border after reports of a possible sighting of David Sweat and Richard Matt.

A New York district attorney says the woman charged with helping two murderers escape from a maximum-security prison had discussed with them a murder-for-hire plot targeting her husband.

Adam Frenier / NEPR

Listing case after case of repeat offenders returned to the city’s streets on bails as low as $1,000, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno renewed his call to reform how bail is set in Massachusetts, especially for repeat violent offenders. Some people, Sarno said, need to remain in jail, not make bail.

Authorities investigating the escape of two convicted murderers from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. this weekend believe the men might have planned to flee to Vermont.

Two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York last weekend are still on the loose. North Country Public Radio reports that at least 300 tips have come in so far, but authorities still have no idea where Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, two convicted murderers, actually are.

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

Connecticut's second-highest court has ruled that a transgender teenager's due process rights were violated when the state's child welfare agency sought her transfer to a prison last year.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

In a prison-break likely to draw comparisons to the film The Shawshank Redemption, two convicted murderers have escaped from a maximum-security facility in upstate New York by cutting through steel walls, shimmying through a steam pipe and emerging from a manhole on the outside.

Inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, near the Canadian border, early Saturday morning.