The Justice Department will temporarily close the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan in order to address security problems and aging infrastructure. This is in response to the death of Jeffrey Epstein (a disgraced financier) who took his own life while waiting for trial.
Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA in 2004. Corbis via Getty Images
The Key Facts
In a written statement to Associated Press, the department stated that it would close the jail, which was nicknamed "Guantanamo" by media. This is to address MCC NY issues quickly and efficiently. According to AP, the jail currently holds 233 inmates. Most of them will be sent to a federal prison in Brooklyn. The exact date and time of closure were not specified. Forbes reached out to the Justice Department for clarification but they did not immediately respond.
Epstein committed suicide while in MCC NY, awaiting his trial for sex trafficking. The jail was criticized for allowing Epstein to die. There was also outrage at conspiracy theories that Epstein was murdered at the order of one of his powerful ex-friends. Two Epsteins unit guards, who were present at the time of his suicide, later admitted to court that they had "willfully and knowingly" falsified documents after the death of the sex offenders. Prosecutors claimed that the men were actually sleeping and surfing the internet. Through deferred prosecution agreements, they were able to avoid prosecution and jail time in May. The government can dismiss charges against them if they complete six months of supervised freedom, cooperate with investigators, and do community service. MCC NY was criticized for other security and safety issues since Epstein's death. According to AP, there has been a handgun found in the facility, as well as other dangerous weapons. There have also been reports of sexual misconduct and lack of social distancing.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273–TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741-741 if you think about suicide.
US closes NYC jail in turmoil where Epstein committed suicide (Associated Press).