Epstein had been denied bail and held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center
A portrait has begun to emerge of the MCC as a chronically understaffed facility
One of those guarding the financier was a ‘stand in’, the guards’ union boss says
It was not clear what the substitute’s regular job was, but federal prisons have resorted to using clerical workers and teachers to fill in for correctional officers
The MCC is now under scrutiny for what AG Bill Barr called ‘serious irregularities’
Source says guards didn’t follow procedure to check inmates every 30 minutes
One was working his fifth day of overtime, another was forced to work overtime
Prosecutors have vowed to continue investigating after Epstein was found dead
By LAUREN FRUEN
13 August 2019
One of the guards on duty the night Jeffery Epstein died was reportedly not a correctional officer but a ‘fill-in’ who was forced into working because of major shortages at the prison where staff are said to work 18 hour shifts and cannot refuse overtime.
The abrupt death of the 66-year-old disgraced financier on Saturday cut short a criminal prosecution that threatened to implicate some of the world’s richest, most powerful men.
But it has since emerged one of those tasked with guarding him was a stand in pressed into working the shift.
The guards’ union boss Serene Gregg told The Washington Post: ‘If it wasn’t Mr Epstein, it would have been somebody else, because of the conditions at that institution.
‘It was only a matter of time for it to happen. It was inevitable. Our staff is severely overworked.’
It was not clear what the substitute’s regular job was, but 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.
In the days since Epstein’s death a portrait has begun to emerge of Manhattan’s federal detention center as a chronically understaffed facility that possibly made a series of missteps in handling its most high-profile inmate.
The American Federation of Government Employees claims workers there often work a double shift of 16 hours.
They can then be forced to work another hour or two if their relief does not arrive arrived and those who refuse the ‘mandatory overtime’ faces disciplinary action.
Gregg, president of AFGE Local 3148, told The Daily Beast: ‘That is our normal. At some point, people are going to break.
‘We have employees who sleep in their cars.’
The center itself is said to be covered in mold with leaks and pests including rodents and roaches. Clocks do not work, according to defense attorney Bruce Barket.
The two guards assigned to check on Epstein were both said to be working extreme overtime shifts the night the pedophile took his own life, a source has revealed.
And while he was supposed to have been checked on by a guard about every 30 minutes investigators have learned those checks were not done for several hours before Epstein was found unresponsive, according to reports.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to the person familiar with the matter.
But he was taken off the watch at the end of July and therefore was not on it at the time of his death.
Source: One of the guards on duty on night of Epstein’s death ‘was NOT a corrections officer but a fill-in pressed into role because of major shortages at the prison where staff often work 18 hour shifts and cannot refuse overtime’