David Sweat: What Happens Now to Recaptured Prison Escapee?

by Cassandra Vinograd /  / Updated 

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What do you do with a prisoner who’s prone to escape? That's the question many are asking now that fugitive murderer David Sweat has been recaptured following a three-week manhunt.

Sweat and Richard Matt's daring prison break was the first from the maximum-security section of Clinton Correctional Facility since the upstate New York prison opened 150 years ago — and officials have vowed it will be the last.

While Matt was shot dead after nearly three weeks on the lam, Sweat survived two shots fired by a lone trooper and is currently hospitalized.

Albany Medical Center said Tuesday Sweat's condition had been upgraded to "fair" from serious, adding that the convicted murderer will remain in the hospital "for at least a few days." It declined to offer details on how Sweat was being guarded, saying in a statement that "security measures continue to be implemented to ensure the safety and security of our patients and their families, our employees, and the public."

Officials have said Sweat will be moved once medically cleared, but in the meantime the recaptured escapee has been revealing details of his jailbreak to authorities from his Albany hospital bed.

Related: Trooper Had Law on His Side Shooting Escapee

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told reporters he doesn't think Sweat will go back to the prison he escaped from — but said where the convict ends up serving his time is "totally up" to the Department of Corrections.

"I don't think that he'll go back to Dannemora, I don't have control over where DOC places Mr. Sweat. That's totally up to the commissioner of the DOC."

The New York Department of Corrections declined to comment on where Sweat will be transferred, saying that it does not release that information for security reasons.

"Once released from the hospital he will be in a maximum security facility," a spokesperson said.

As a state prisoner, Sweat isn't eligible for incarceration at the only "supermax" prison in the U.S. — a notorious jail in Colorado for largely reserved for terrorists and traitors. However, there are more than a dozen other maximum security prisons for men in New York state alone — from Attica to the notorious Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

While the maximum-security prisons don't differ in their security measures, how Sweat will be treated once he is re-incarcerated remains to be seen. He could be placed in solitary confinement, a Special Housing Unit — known as "SHU" — or restricted to his cell for most of the day.

Wylie, the Clinton County district attorney, has said Sweat will be charged with escape.However, Sweat already was serving a life sentence — so any further penalties for escaping will likely be formalities.

However, a legal analyst said his cooperation with authorities now could help him secure a greater level of comfort for his incarceration going forward.

Analyst Lisa Bloom told NBC's TODAY that Sweat has a lot to gain from spilling the beans on the details of his escape.

"Gone are going to be the television, the hot plate, the working in the tailor shop," Bloom said. "Those privileges, if he wants to get any of those back, if he wants to get out of administrative segregation — solitary confinement — he has a little bit to work with there in terms of bargaining."

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