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Clinton Correctional Facility is a maximum-security New York state prison located in the Adirondack village of Dannemora. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as "Dannemora," although it takes its name from its location in Clinton County. Its walls go right up to streets in Dannemora's main business district. A church built by inmates - St. Dismas - is located within the walls. It is sometimes referred to as "New York's Siberia" due to the cold climate in Dannemora, and the isolation of the area. It is the largest maximum security prison and the third oldest prison in New York State.

Clinton Correctional Wall Tower



Built in 1865, it originally served as a site where prisoners were used to work in local mines in both Dannemora and nearby Lyon Mountain. This enterprise would not be profitable, and by 1877, mining had ended, and the prisoners were put to work on other trades. With this change, the prison experienced growth, and in 1887 it was given new concrete walls more than 60 feet (18 m) tall that still stand. In 1895, the first prisoner was executed in the electric chair at the prison, beginning the use of capital punishment at Clinton Correctional. This period also saw many prisoners cured of tuberculosis due in part to the clean air in the Adirondacks, leading to the importation of prisoners with this disease from other prisons.

In 1899, a mental health facility, the Dannemora State Hospital, was built on the grounds to house prisoners who became insane whilst serving their sentence. Such prisoners were retained in the facility if they remained insane following the completion of their sentence.[1]

In 1929, Clinton Correctional witnessed a riot which, coupled with riots in other prisons in that year, led to prison reform in New York State. This led to the building of schools in the prison, and the renovation or rebuilding of most of the structures within the prison walls, making the facility more modern. The church of St. Dismas was built in 1941. In the latter half of the 20th century, the prison's mental institutions closed and were converted into an annex to house more prisoners.

Notable inmates

  • 2Pac (real name Tupac Shakur) - Served 11 and a half months on a sexual abuse conviction in February 1995 before being released on appeal.
  • Gregory Corso - Italian-American poet, one the inner circle of "The Beat Generation" along with Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs. Sentenced at 17, Corso served about three years for stealing a suit.
  • Charles "Lucky" Luciano - One of the driving forces behind the development of Italian organized crime in the United States served 10 years of a 30- to 50-year sentence for running a prostitution ring before being deported to Italy after World War II.
  • John Resko - Author of bestseller "Reprieve: The testament of John Resko" (1958), the basis for the Ben Gazzara/Sammy Davis Jr. movie "Convicts 4"
  • Hell Rell (real name Durell Mohammad) - served nearly 28 months on a criminal sale of a controlled substance conviction from 2002 to 2004.
  • Ol' Dirty Bastard (real name Russell Tyrone Jones) - Served nearly 17 months on a criminal possession of a controlled substance conviction in 2001 and 2002.
  • Michael Alig - 10-year sentence due to the murder of his drug dealer in the late '90s.
  • Robert Chambers - the "preppy murderer", who served much of his sentence for the killing of Jennifer Levin here, as well as a later sentence for drug possession after heroin was found in his cell and new criminal charges were brought.
  • Kenny Kimes - Son of murderess Sante Kimes and American con artist is serving a life sentence for the murder of New York City socialite Irene Silverman.
  • Jesse Friedman - One of the subjects of the 2003 documentary film, Capturing the Friedmans; convicted of sodomy and sexual abuse charges related to child molestation in the 1980's.
  • Richard Bilello - Lucchese crime family associate and convicted murderer.
  • David Gilbert - Serving life in prison. Arrested with members of the Black Liberation Army and other radicals following a botched Brinks armored car robbery in 1981.
  • John Jamelske - Mass-kidnapper and serial rapist serving 18 years to life.[2]
  • Vincent Johnson, the serial killer known as "Brooklyn Strangler", currently serving a life sentence for the murders of five prostitutes in 1999 and 2000.
  • Marlon Legere - Serving life without parole in connection with the brutal shooting deaths of NYPD detectives Robert Parker and Patrick Rafferty in Brooklyn.
  • Carl Panzram - Serial killer, 1923-1928
  • Daniel Pelosi - Convicted of murder and jury tampering[1]
  • Shyne (real name Moses Michael Leviy) - Since 2001, serving a sentence of 8 to 10 years on convictions of assault, criminal weapons possession, and reckless endangerment. He is scheduled for release on October 6, 2009. Released and deported back to his native Belize
  • Ralph Bucky Phillips - Sentenced to life without parole for the shooting of 3 New York State troopers in 2006 after escaping from jail.
  • Christopher Porco - Serving 50 years to life for the November 15, 2004 ax murder of his father and attempted murder of his mother in their Delmar, New York home.
  • Joel Rifkin - referred to as "Joel the Ripper" by tabloids after a 5-year killing spree. Murdered 18 women, prostitutes and drug addicts, and is currently serving 203 years to life.
  • Julio Gonzalez - perpetrator of the 1990 Happy Land Fire in the Bronx which killed 87 people.
  • John Taylor - Sentenced to death for shooting seven employees of a Wendy's restaurant in Queens, NY, killing five and seriously injuring two. Taylor was re-sentenced to life without parole. See Wendy's_massacre.
  • Richard Angelo - A nurse convicted of murder.
  • Luis Rosado - Inmate charged with the murder of Larry Davis, who shot six police officers in 1986, at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility during recreation.
  • Maino an American rapper from Brooklyn, New York charged for numerous street and gunpoint crimes
  • Martin Tankleff - former Belle Terre, NY resident freed after his conviction for killing his wealthy parents Arlene and Seymour Tankleff was overturned citing evidence that others committed the murders.
  • Eric Smith - brutally killed and sexually assaulted a 4 year old boy at the age of 13
  • Altemio Sanchez - is an American serial killer who murdered at least three women and raped at least 14 others in and around Buffalo, New York, over a span of 25 years (1981-2006). He is also known as The Bike Path Rapist


See also

External links

Coordinates: 44°43′25″N 73°43′15″W / 44.72361°N 73.72083°W / 44.72361; -73.72083

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