World

Epstein guard ‘not a corrections officer’

By AAP Newswire

A person familiar with operations at the jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself says one of the two people guarding him the night he died wasn't a correctional officer.

The person wasn't authorised to disclose information about the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The person said Epstein hanged himself with a bedsheet on Saturday, days after being taken off suicide watch, in the Metropolitan Correctional Center's special housing unit in Manhattan.

Federal prisons facing shortages of fully trained guards have resorted to having other types of support staff fill in for correctional officers, including clerical workers and teachers.

Jail policy called for guards to check on Epstein every 30 minutes, but investigators have learned those checks weren't done for several hours in the hours before he was discovered unresponsive.

That's according to a second person who was not authorised to discuss the matter and also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, the US House Judiciary Committee demanded answers from the Bureau of Prisons about how Epstein died.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and the top Republican on the panel, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, wrote the bureau's acting director on Monday with several questions about the conditions in the prison before Epstein took his own life.

The committee asked Hugh Hurwitz for details on the bureau's suicide prevention program, the circumstances of Epstein's confinement and details about specific employees who were working that night.

Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday morning. Nadler and Collins wrote that they agree with Attorney-General William Barr that there are "serious questions" about Epstein's death.

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