Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34
Police are hunting Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who broke out of a maximum security prison in New York State.Handout

A prison officer has been suspended in connection with the escape of two convicted murderers from a jail in upstate New York.

"A correction officer was placed on administrative leave this evening as part of the ongoing investigation into the escape at Clinton Correctional Facility," the New York state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in a statement issued on Friday (19 June).

It added that no further details would immediately be released.

The news comes a week after female prison worker Joyce Mitchell, 51, was arrested on charges she helped the killers escape by smuggling hacksaw blades, chisels and drill bits to them.

Following her arrest, she told authorities she had discussed a plan with both men to kill her husband Lyle, a maintenance worker at the same prison, but backed out at the last minute.

In scenes reminiscent of the 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption, the two men managed to escape by hatching an elaborate plot that involved drilling through the steel walls of their cells and navigating a complex maze of pipes and tunnels.

They even left behind a mocking note to their prison wardens which read: "Have A Nice Day".

Police are continuing to search for 34-year-old David Sweat and 48-year-old Richard Matt, who escaped from the prison in Dannemora, New York on 6 June.

Sweat was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of a sheriff's deputy in 2002, while Matt was serving 25 years to life for counts of murder, kidnapping and robbery after killing his former boss in 1997.

Both escaped convicts, who are considered extremely dangerous, remain on the run two weeks after their escape.