'Serious Irregularities' At Jail Where Epstein Died, Attorney General Says

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference in New York Monday

At the same time, Barr warned on August 12 that any co-conspirator in the ongoing criminal probe "should not rest easy".

The department's announcement of the staff changes was made hours after President Donald Trump said he wanted a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death.

Even before Epstein's death, public defenders had called the MCC conditions inhumane. "Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant".

"Jeffrey Epstein's death is a tragedy to everyone involved in his case", Judge Berman said in a statement on Monday.

President Trump went on to say the controversy around Epstein's sex-trafficking ring has lingered for a long time, and he hopes the Department of Justice can finally get to the bottom of it.

This is not the first time the Manhattan Correctional Centre has come under scrutiny.

Epstein, who once counted Trump and Clinton as friends, was arrested on 6 July and pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.

In exchange, federal-level charges against him were dropped.

Lawyers for Epstein accusers have also said they will pursue civil cases against his estate. The corrections officers were not identified.

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Both guards were working overtime shifts.

A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the Justice Department should "rip up" a decade-old plea agreement that protects some of Jeffrey Epstein's associates from being prosecuted for their alleged role in supplying him with teenage girls. Like others, this person spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Epstein should have been checked on by guards in his cell every 30 minutes, but that didn't happen the night before his apparent suicide, a law enforcement official told the Times.

The Metropolitan Correctional Facility, where Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell, is seen on August 10, 2019 in New York City.

While the exact manner of Epstein's death has not been officially announced, a second person familiar with operations at the jail said the financier was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck.

Lavine now theorizes that someone may have been paid to provide the means for Epstein's apparent suicide, which followed the release of court documents the day before revealing accusations that a woman was forced to have sex with world leaders, leading businessmen and other powerful men in Epstein's circle. She noted the limitations jailers face when someone decides to take his or her own life.

According to NYT, this is part of a larger problem where jails are understaffed with correctional officers, and support staff are often put into these positions with minimal training. At least 124 inmates killed themselves while in federal custody between fiscal years 2010 and 2016, according to the most recent statistics available from the Bureau of Prisons. Security was "really intense" at the prison, she said, explaining that as a high profile case, her husband had "two guards and a lieutenant to transfer him between his solitary room to the visiting room". The Bureau of Prisons also placed on administrative leave two MCC staff assigned to Mr. Epstein's unit pending the outcome of the investigations.

Epstein's death is hardly the first scandal at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, which a year ago saw a prison guard plead guilty to taking more than $25,000 USA in cash bribes to smuggle cell phones, alcohol and food to a wealthy Turkish gold trader.

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