After being removed from suicide watch, Epstein was likely placed back in SHU. NBC reported that he was alone in his cell when he was found unresponsive. Does a guard sit outside every cell on the SHU? No. Typically every 30 minutes a corrections officer does the rounds and checks on each inmate. An anonymous law enforcement source told The New York Times “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.”
The MCC has been notoriously understaffed for some time now. Inmates have reported that they have been locked in their cells all weekend because of staff shortages, and, as I tweeted, even weekend legal visits are sometimes canceled for the same reason.
Because of the short staff issues, corrections officers at the MCC often work double shifts. Was the corrections officer covering the SHU that morning in the middle of a double and perhaps fell asleep? There are cameras throughout the MCC, and I assure you they are being reviewed. An anonymous source told the Associated Press on Sunday “the Metropolitan Correctional Center’s Special Housing Unit was staffed with one guard working a fifth straight day of overtime and another who was working mandatory overtime.”