The apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein has brought new scrutiny to a federal jail in New York that, despite chronic understaffing, houses some of the highest-security inmates in the country.
Epstein’s death is also the latest black eye for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, the jail’s parent agency that already was under fire for the October death of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, who was fatally beaten at a federal prison in West Virginia shortly after his arrival.
Taken together, the deaths underscore “serious issues surrounding a lack of leadership” within the BOP, said Cameron Lindsay, a former warden who ran three federal lockups, including the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
A defense attorney for Epstein, Marc Fernich, also faulted jail officials, saying they “recklessly put Mr. Epstein in harm’s way.”
The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to repeated requests for details about Epstein’s death. But Attorney General William Barr demanded answers, saying he was appalled by the apparent suicide and announcing a pair of federal inquiries by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general.
Barr said Monday the Justice Department has already found “serious irregularities” at the Manhattan jail where Epstein was being held, adding that the facility “failed to …read more
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