On Tuesday, the Justice Department’s Inspector General released the report concluding that misconduct, systemic negligence, and under-resourcing among federal corrections staff and facilities enabled Jeffrey Epstein to commit suicide in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York in August 2019, CBS News reported.
The IG’s investigation found “numerous” serious and even criminal instances of misconduct among corrections staff. Thirteen corrections staff were named in the report for committing performance failures on August 9 and 10, 2019, ranging from indifference to possible criminal acts.
The potential crimes, including falsifying records and lying to investigators, were committed by four Bureau of Prison employees. Two of the employees, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, avoided prosecution by entering into a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ.
The IG report cites widespread problems throughout the Bureau of Prison and describes the lack of supervision and understaffing at federal detention facilities.
After interviewing dozens of prison staff and inmates, the Inspector General found that a “combination” of misconduct, negligence, and “outright job performance failures” created an “environment” in which “one of the most notorious inmates” in the custody of the Bureau of Prison was “provided” the chance to commit suicide.
The facility suffered from “systemic understaffing” and the guards failed to follow protocols on inmate checks, according to the report. Guards also gave Epstein access to too much bedding and other materials.
The facilities infrastructure also contributed to Epstein’s suicide, according to the IG report. Most notably, the use of security cameras that do not record and store footage.
The Inspector General’s investigation did not find any evidence that another person entered Epstein’s cell, nor was there any indication that his death was due to foul play.
In interviews with Epstein’s fellow inmates, none suggested seeing anyone enter the unit on the night of Epstein’s death. Likewise, staff from the Metropolitan Correctional Center told IG investigators that they had no information that suggested that Epstein died of anything “other than suicide.”