Family of Prison Worker Joyce Mitchell Charged in Convicts' Escape 'Love and Support' Her

by Stephanie Gosk and Elisha Fieldstadt /  / Updated 

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The daughter-in-law of Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker charged with helping two convicted murderers break free, said Saturday that the family stands behind her "no matter what."

The 51-year-old mother and wife was charged Friday night with a felony count of promoting prison contraband and a misdemeanor count of criminal facilitation.

She pleaded not guilty at a late-night arraignment, and is being held on $110,000 bail or $220,000 bond.

According to a criminal complaint, Mitchell brought hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch and a screwdriver bit into Clinton Correctional Facility five weeks before convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped the prison.

Matt and Sweat have been on the run for a week after sawing their way out of their cells, climbing through an underground steam pipe and popping out of a manhole a block away.

Related: Prison Worker Joyce Mitchell Planned to Be Getaway Driver: Sources

"We will love and support her no matter what. Not even that situation will bring our family down. That's all we have to say about this," Mitchell's daughter-in-law, Paige Mitchell, told NBC News.

Joyce Mitchell is charged with helping two convicted murderers break free.
Joyce Mitchell is charged with helping two convicted murderers break free.New York State Police

"Let's find these two idiots so our community can calm down," Paige Mitchell added. "That needs to be the focus right now, finding these monsters and locking them back up in a cell so they can live out the remainder of their days, hopefully in solitary confinement."

Mitchell on Saturday was transferred from the Clinton County Jail in Plattsburgh to the Rensselaer‎‎ County Jail, a spokesman for the Rensselaer‎ County Sheriff’s Office said.

More than 800 law enforcement officers were searching Saturday for Matt and Sweat.

New York State Police Maj. Charles Guess said Friday night that investigators have no reason to believe that the fugitives have left the area or split up, but they are leaving all possibilities open.

Rain had hampered the search efforts in recent days, but Saturday's clear weather proved helpful.

Guess said that the time spent questioning Joyce Mitchell aided the search, as did many of the hundreds of tips and leads police have received.

"We’re going down every road and following every lead," Guess said. "We’re getting closer with every step that we take."

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