Clinton Correctional Facility is a New York State Department of Correctional Services state prison for men located in the Village of Dannemora, New York. The prison itself is sometimes colloquially referred to as Dannemora, although its actual name is derived from its location in Clinton County, New York. The southern perimeter wall of the prison borders New York State Route 374. Church of St. Dismas, the Good Thief, a church built by inmates, is located within the walls. The prison 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.
Built in 1844, 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 1892, the first prisoner was executed in the electric chair at the prison, beginning the use of capital punishment at Clinton Correctional. Twenty six men were executed between 1892 and 1913. 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 while serving their sentence. Such prisoners were retained in the facility if they remained insane following the completion of their sentence.
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, the Good Thief was built from 1939 to 1941; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. 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 (in alphabetical order of last name)
- Michael Alig: 10-year sentence due to murder of his drug dealer in the late 1990s.
- Richard Bilello: Lucchese crime family associate and convicted murderer.
- Robert Chambers: the "preppy murderer", who served much of his sentence for the killing of Jennifer Levin at Clinton Correctional Facility, as well as a later sentence for drug possession after heroin was found in his cell and new criminal charges were brought.
- Jeffrey Conroy: was convicted April 19, 2010 of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime for fatally stabbing Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue. He was the first person to be convicted of a hate crime for a death in Suffolk County Long Island.
- 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.
- 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 1980s.
- Robert F. Garrow: Serial rapist/murderer; served twice at Clinton Correctional: 1961-1963 for rape (transferred to Auburn Correctional Facility), and 1974-1977 for second-degree murder (transferred to Auburn Correctional Facility, followed by transfer to Fishkill Correctional Facility in 1978).
- Paul Geidel: Murderer; Longest serving prisoner in American history whose sentence ended with release.
- 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.
- Julio Gonzalez: perpetrator of the 1990 Happy Land Fire in the Bronx which killed 87 people.
- Hell Rell (real name Durell Mohammad): served nearly 28 months on a criminal sale of a controlled substance conviction from 2002 to 2004.
- John Jamelske: Mass-kidnapper and serial rapist serving 18 years to life.
- Vincent Johnson, serial killer known as "Brooklyn Strangler": 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.
- 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.
- Maino: Rapper from Brooklyn, New York City, charged for numerous street and gunpoint crimes
- 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.
- Carl Panzram: Serial killer, 1923–1928.
- Daniel Pelosi: Convicted of murder and jury tampering
- Ralph "Bucky" Phillips: Sentenced to life without parole for the shooting of three 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.
- John Resko: Author of bestseller Reprieve: The testament of John Resko (1958), the basis for the Ben Gazzara/Sammy Davis Jr. movie Convicts 4.
- Joel Rifkin: referred to as "Joel the Ripper" by tabloids after a five-year killing spree. Murdered 18 women, prostitutes and drug addicts, and is serving 203 years to life.
- Luis Rosado: Inmate charged with the murder of Larry Davis, who shot six police officers in 1986 at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility during recreation.
- Altemio Sanchez (also known as The Bike Path Rapist): 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).
- 2Pac (real name Tupac Shakur): Served 11 and a half months on a sexual abuse conviction in February 1995 before being released on appeal.
- Shyne (real name Moses Michael Leviy): Beginning in 2001, served a sentence of 8 to 10 years on convictions of assault, criminal weapons possession, and reckless endangerment. Released and deported back to his native Belize
- Eric Smith: Convicted of killing and sexually assaulting a four-year-old boy at age 13.
- Martin Tankleff: Former Belle Terre, New York resident freed after his conviction for killing his wealthy parents Arlene and Seymour Tankleff was overturned citing evidence that others committed the murders.
- John Taylor: Sentenced to death for shooting seven employees of a Wendy's restaurant in Queens, New York City, killing five and seriously injuring two. Taylor was re-sentenced to life without parole.
- Lee Van Glahn: Currently serving a life sentence plus 54 years to life for the murder of two Brooklyn prostitutes and the rape, sodomy and attempted murder for a third prostitute in Brooklyn. Convicted in 2005.
- Joel Steinberg: Attorney convicted for the abuse of his common law wife, Hedda Nussbaum, and the abuse murder of his four-year-old stepdaughter.
- ^ "Dannemora village, New York." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 2, 2010.
- ^ "Dannemora town, Clinton County, New York." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 2, 2010.
- ^ "Facility Profile: Clinton". DOCS/TODAY. NYCHS. January 1999. http://www.correctionhistory.org/html/chronicl/docs2day/clinton.html. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
- ^ Gooley, Lawrence P. (2009). Terror in the Adirondacks: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert F. Garrow. Peru, NY: Bloated Toe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9795741-3-9.
- ^ Gado, Mark. "Slavemaster". Crime Library. p. 12. http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/sexual_assault/john_jamelske/12.html. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- ^ "March 7, 2006 Press Release" (Press release). Suffolk County, New York. March 7, 2006. http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/da/press/2006/03_07_06_02.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
- ^ http://nysdocslookup.docs.state.ny.us/GCA00P00/WIQ3/WINQ130