The Justice Department inspector general blamed prison guards' "negligence" and "misconduct" for the death of millionaire and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, who officials say committed suicide in his New York City prison cell in 2019.
"The combination of negligence, misconduct, and outright job performance failures documented in his report all contributed to an environment in which arguably one of the most notorious inmates in the [Bureau of Prisons's] custody was provided with the opportunity to take his own life," the report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded.
The report said guards allowed too many bed linens to remain in the cell, which Epstein reportedly used to hang himself. Horowitz also cited Epstein's lack of a cellmate and non-working security cameras as further problems.
Epstein died in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking and other charges. Horowitz confirmed the government's stance that the death was a suicide. The report said the DOJ "did not uncover evidence contradicting" the FBI's determination of the cause of death.
Horowitz suggested bringing charges against six workers at the prison, the Associated Press reported:
Horowitz echoed previous findings that some members of the jail staff involved in guarding Epstein were overworked. He identified 13 employees with poor performance and recommended charges against six workers. Only the two workers tasked with guarding Epstein were charged, avoiding jail time in a plea deal after admitting to falsifying logs.
The workers assigned to guard Epstein were sleeping and shopping online instead of checking on him every 30 minutes as required, prosecutors said.
The conclusion comes days after emails revealed that a rising Democratic star owes part of her success to Epstein. Congressional delegate Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands met with Epstein several times after he had been convicted of child sex crimes to seek donations.