UPDATE: Epstein was not on suicide watch

This is an update to a current News Views article:

Around 7:30 AM ET, prison authorities found Jeffery Epstein dead in his cell from an apparent suicide by hanging.

According to the New York Times, Epstein was placed on suicide watch after what is believed to be his first suicide attempt on July 23d. During that time, he received “a daily psychiatric evaluation.”

On July 29th, “he was removed from suicide returned to the special housing unit, a segregated area of the prison with extra security.”

Jack Donson, a former longtime federal Bureau of Prisons, told NBC that suicide watch in federal lock up normally lasts “a few days to week” because of the amount of resources it consumes. Staff has to work overtime to monitor the inmate around the clock.

During that time, staff continually assess the inmate and when they believe the inmate is out of “imminent danger,”  the warden and chief psychologist will determine what actions to take next.

Authorities at the Metropolitan Correctional Center have not released any details as to why Epstein was taken off suicide watch. AG William Barr released a statement that “a special inquiry would be opened into what had happened.”

“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Mr. Barr said. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tweeted earlier about the incident:

At this time, authorities have not released any specific details on how Epstein hanged himself or how and why he had access to items that could cause harm.

We will continue to update the situation when more details become available.

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