01:57 - Source: CNN
2 killers escape from prison in upstate New York

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The Clinton Correctional Facility's cold, remote location accounts for the nickname

An advocacy group says the prison has a history of brutality and dehumanization

Past inmates have included Mafioso Charles Luciano and "preppy murderer" Robert Chambers

CNN —  

They don’t call this prison “Little Siberia” for nothing.

Its location is remote and very cold, and it has been home to some of the most hard-bitten inmates in the history of New York crime.

The Clinton Correctional Facility is also a place that “has an infamous history of staff violence, brutality, dehumanization and racist attitudes that are an affront to any sense of humanity,” according to an independent advocacy group called the Correctional Association of New York.

The notorious Mafioso Charles “Lucky” Luciano did 10 years here before being deported to Italy.

And Robert Chambers, the so-called preppy murderer, was transferred here after committing infractions at another prison. Chambers, who claimed that Jennifer Levin died accidentally during rough sex, was convicted of manslaughter – and, later, of drug offenses.

Most inmates convicted of violence

The Clinton Correctional Facility is in northern New York state, in a sparsely populated area of the Adirondack Mountains, 20 miles from the Canadian border. It’s in the village of Dannemora.

“Permanent settlement in Dannemora began in 1838,” the village’s website says, “and Dannemora was officially incorporated as a village in 1901 growing up around the Clinton Correctional Facility.”

The site also notes that the prison “is one of the largest public employers in the county” and houses about 3,000 inmates.

The Correctional Association of New York, says the prison employs 929 correctional officers, its capacity 2,956 people, and 2,917 are incarcerated there.

According to The New York Times, nearly 90% of inmates at the maximum-security prison have been convicted of violent crimes, compared with a statewide average of two-thirds. Inmates are serving average minimum sentences of 13 years – more than twice the average in the state.