Skip navigation

Articles by Katie Rose Quandt

Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora” Left Out Torture and Abuse

The miniseries depicting a New York prison escape fails to show what happened to the men left behind.

by Katie Rose Quandt, The Appeal, a nonprofit criminal justice news site

The true story of a 2015 prison break from a New York maximum-security facility has electrified viewers of Showtime’s acclaimed miniseries “Escape at Dannemora,” which wrapped up on December 30, 2018. The tale focuses on two men serving life sentences, David Sweat and Richard Matt, and their relationship with prison employee Tillie Mitchell, who aids their escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

The series, which has earned praise for its evenhandedness and authenticity, takes viewers through a dramatic retelling of the two men’s elaborate plot, the escape, and the ensuing manhunt. But it ignores one of the most serious consequences of the break: the widespread retaliation carried out against the people left behind in Clinton and other New York prisons.

In August 2015, two months after the escape, a New York Times investigation outlined horrific abuse at Clinton, where men who had lived near Sweat and Matt on the “honor block” (a cellblock for those who have earned additional privileges) were tortured for information. ...

Angola Prison Lawsuit Poses Question: What Kind of Medical Care do Prisoners Deserve?

by Amanda Aronczyk & Katie Rose Quandt, WNYC Radio

In 2005, Francis Brauner was a quarter of the way through a 20-year prison sentence at the Dixon Correctional Institute in Louisiana, when he had an accident.

Brauner was imprisoned for a rape conviction, which he maintains was wrongful and part ...

Why There’s an Even Larger Racial Disparity in Private Prisons Than in Public Ones

It’s well known that people of color are vastly overrepresented in U.S. prisons. African-Americans and Latinos constitute 30 percent of the U.S. population and 60 percent of its prisoners. But a new study by University of California-Berkeley researcher Christopher Petrella addresses a fact of equal concern. Once sentenced, people of ...