Federal New York lockup draws new scrutiny in Epstein death

NEW YORK (AP) — The apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein has brought new scrutiny to a chronically understaffed federal jail in New York.

The financier’s death Saturday is also the latest black eye for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons following last year’s fatal beating of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in federal custody.

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan is so short-staffed that the BOP is offering correctional officers a $10,000 bonus to transfer there from other federal lockups.

For more than a decade, the union representing correctional officers has warned of what it describes as “unsound” and “dangerous” staffing levels at federal prisons.

Attorney General William Barr announced the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general will investigate Epstein’s death.

The 66-year-old Epstein had been jailed on federal sex trafficking charges.

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