In the immediate aftermath of the escape of two inmates from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., the following video (and variations thereof) went up. Sparking much speculation about some activity seen in the background of a remote 7:07 p.m. ET report connecting host Greta Van Susteren and with reporter Molly Line.
Today, for those not in the viral loop, NPR’s Morning Edition recapped the Line bottom line. It turns out the raising of packages outside the prison wall is how guards in the Clinton prison towers have long taken receipt of take-out lunch and dinner orders:
The video sparked an angry response on social media from corrections officers and their families. They say that using ropes to hoist lunches, carry-out food and other supplies to guards working long shifts in the tower is a longstanding tradition at Clinton-Dannemora. A tradition that they say doesn’t threaten security.
Two restaurant operators confirmed to NPR that they had delivered carry-out meals to guards in this way in the past. They wouldn’t agree to be interviewed on tape or let their names be used because they don’t want to risk losing business they get delivering food to prison employees.
NPR got a no-comment from New York state department of corrections. As their report suggests, this practice is likely to change in the wake of the prison escape.