DOJ Report on Jeffrey Epstein Jailhouse Death Finds “Numerous and Serious” Failures

June 27, 2023

A U.S. Department of Justice’s inspector general report found that “numerous and serious” failures among corrections staff enabled Jeffrey Epstein in his suicide behind bars.

The report was released Tuesday. The wealthy 66-year-old financier was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on August 10, 2019. He had been arrested by federal authorities for alleged sex trafficking of minors. 

The DOJ watchdog’s report found “numerous and serious” instances of misconduct between August 9 and August 10, 2019 by the corrections staff, which gave Epstein the opportunity to kill himself. The report accuses 13 staffers of performance failures ranging from indifference to potentially criminal acts.

According to the report, Epstein’s death came just weeks after he was found injured in a cell and placed on suicide watch. His cellmate at the time told officials that he had tried to hang himself.

In the days afterward, the prison’s Psychology Department notified some 70 employees that Epstein had to be housed with an appropriate cellmate for supervision. However, on August 9 that specially-assigned cellmate was transferred to a different correctional facility, and staffers failed to find Epstein a new cellmate before he hanged himself with a homemade noose on August 10. 

Inspector general Michael Horowitz has referred for criminal prosecution two prison supervisors who were responsible for Epstein’s safety for , including falsifying records and lying to investigators. However, federal prosectors for the Southern District of New York have declined to bring charges.

The inspector general’s office combed through 100,000 records and conducted dozens of interviews before issuing its report.

Though Epstein’s death sparked outrage and disbelief over how such a high-profile prisoner, known for socializing with and giving private plane rides to such powerful people as former Presidents Trump and Clinton as well as Prince Andrew of Great Britain, could have gone unsupervised, the inspector general report says that it “did not uncover evidence” to contradict an FBI finding that the financier had killed himself. 

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