Date: August 12, 2019
“Staffing shortages at the prison where financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead left gaps in his supervision, said the union for the facility’s employees.
The justice department and the FBI have both launched investigations into his death in New York, amid questions surrounding the circumstances.
Epstein, 66, was facing sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, which carried jail sentences of up to 45 years.
A post mortem examination was performed on Sunday.
New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, said more information was needed before the cause of death was determined.
A private pathologist observed the examination at the request of Epstein’s representatives, Dr Sampson added.
Epstein’s body was found in his cell early Saturday morning.
A hiring freeze by the Trump administration has left thousands of staff vacancies across the Bureau of Prisons, creating “dangerous conditions” for both staff and inmates, said Eric Young, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prison Locals in a statement.
The remaining officers are regularly forced to work 70- and 80-hour work weeks, Mr Young said.
A city official told the New York Times that Dr Sampson was “confident” the cause of death is suicide by hanging, but she was awaiting further information from law enforcement.”