Jeffrey Epstein has denied having suicidal thoughts and prison staff made a litany of mistakes before his death, prison documents reveal
A “Psychological Reconstruction of Inmate Death” report prepared by the National Suicide Prevention Coordinator of the Bureau of Prisons, Directorate of Psychological Services, Central Office, constructs a timeline of events and circumstances prior to Epstein’s death and notes that suicide risk factors “specific to sex offenders,” as well as “more general risk factors for suicide, were likely present” to Epstein before his death.
“Despite his many associates, he had significant or limited deep interpersonal connections. Although Mr. Epstein seemed to cultivate a vast social and professional network, he was estranged from his only brother. Indeed, his identity seemed to be based on his wealth, its power, and association with other prominent people, ”the report says.
BOP declined to comment on a particular inmate, but said in a statement to CNN that “the safe, secure and humane housing of inmates is BOP’s top priority.”
“Overall, the BOP has launched a working group that will look at the mental health implications of housing individuals alone in a cell, and is committed to improving its suicide prevention program. In addition, the BOP is increasing the number of beds available for health units, which will help move inmates with severe mental illnesses out of tight quarters and into secure treatment programs. The BOP is also taking a number of other steps to address mental health issues, including improving peer support programs and continuing to train BOP staff on suicide prevention, risk assessment and emergency response, ”the agency said in its statement.
The text of the BOP report notes that this is an “interim report” due to “an inability to collect all the necessary data”, in particular the lack of formal interviews because there was a effort to avoid interference with ongoing Justice Department investigations, and lack of video as it was confiscated by the FBI prior to the report.
Documents reveal Epstein denied having suicidal thoughts, despite the signs
When Epstein arrived at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on July 6, 2019, a facilities assistant is noted in the report as describing Epstein as “distraught, sad and a little confused.” Although Epstein said he was fine, she was not convinced, writing that “he seemed dazed and withdrawn”. She advised in an email that someone from psychology come talk to her to “be on the safe side and avoid any suicidal thoughts,” but there is no evidence that the recipient of the email, a lieutenant, contacted the psychologist on duty at the time. , according to the report.
The report also states that Epstein “denied any history of mental health, addiction and treatment issues” during a routine screening at the MCC Center in Manhattan on July 8, and denied any thoughts of suicide.
Later that month, Epstein was placed on suicide watch after an in-person suicide risk assessment on July 23, but was removed from surveillance and returned for psychological observation a day later.
It is not known when he was removed from “psychological observation” due to a discrepancy in the paperwork, but he attended a court hearing on July 31 when the US Marshals Service noted “suicidal tendencies” , according to the report.
The report adds, however, that “Epstein was having difficulty adjusting to his surroundings and changes in his lifestyle,” including sleep disturbances, complaints about noise in the facility and concerns for his safety. . On two occasions, the report states that Epstein described himself as a “coward” and someone “who doesn’t like pain.”
The report also states that the unsealing of documents that alleged new details about the sexual abuse allegations against Epstein the day before his death “has further eroded[ed] his high status which he previously enjoyed and potentially involving some of his associates. The lack of meaningful interpersonal relationships, the complete loss of his status in the community and among associates, and the thought of potentially spending his life in prison likely contributed to Mr. Epstein’s suicide.
Procedural errors made by BOP staff before Epstein’s death
On one occasion, the report states that a person who completed an “Psychological Services Admission Screening” form for Epstein checked a box that said “No Sexual Offense Conviction” when, in fact, Epstein had already been convicted. for having solicited minors for the purposes of prostitution. The report also states that Epstein, who was white, was mistakenly identified as a black man.
In addition, a review of prison records “revealed a number of incomplete entries” with respect to the provision and receipt of basic services such as recreation, medical records, showers and the consumption of meals. . The report says there were several instances where it was unclear whether Epstein had eaten, showered, or been offered recreation. In addition, according to the report, a review of the logbooks revealed “significant deviations” from the memorandum of procedure approved for the installation.
The BOP report also states that the day before his death, Epstein ended his legal visit earlier to make a phone call. He told BOP employees he was calling his mother, but records show she has been dead since at least 2004.
CNN’s Brian Vitagliano and Lauren del Valle contributed to this report.