Clinton Prison staff
 murdered by inmates

The New York State Department of Correctional Services dedicated an Employee Memorial at the Albany Training Academy on June 29, 2000, to employees who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Those honored include:

Augustus T. Wright, Keeper [Warden] of Clinton State Prison, July 11, 1861, struck with an iron bar during an attack at the iron ore processing plant when seven inmates escaped from the prison.  He was the first prison employee in the state to be killed on duty.

Dr. Charles H. North, Superintendent of Dannemora State Hospital, December 12, 1917, after serving for 13 years at the hospital for insane criminals, was stabbed in the back with a chisel by inmate he was just speaking to about making toys.  Dr. North's widow, although not an attorney, was the first Childrens' Court Judge in Clinton County.  Thomas North, their son, was Clinton County District Attorney.

Charles J. Gunter, an Officer at Clinton State Prison, April 17, 1919, was struck in the head during an attempted escape from the prison's tuberculosis hospital.

Daniel J. Nickerson, a Guard at Clinton State Prison was stabbed on March 25, 1934 while trying to help fellow officers who were attacked while searching an inmate.

Donna A. Payant, of Dannemora, was a Correction Officer at Green Haven Correctional Facility when she was murdered on May 15, 1981 by inmate Lemuel Smith.  This was a notorious case, in which the New York Court of Appeals struck down the death penalty statute then in effect.  Read People v Lemuel Smith.

Claude W. Cromie, Correction Officer at Clinton Correctional Facility was assaulted on February 6, 1982 and died of a fatal heart attack while escorting a disruptive inmate from the dayroom of a housing unit.