Jeffrey Epstein was removed from suicide watch in July after prison psychologists determined it was it was no longer warranted, the Justice Department said in a letter to lawmakers Friday.
The disclosure marks the first time the Justice Department has acknowledged Epstein was taken off suicide watch at the New York federal prison where he was detained on sex trafficking charges.
Stephen Boyd, the department’s congressional liaison, detailed the circumstances behind removing Epstein from the suicide watch list in a letter to the two highest ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee.
The committee is investigating whether mistakes were made at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein hanged himself earlier this month.
Although Mr. Boyd did not offer any new light on Epstein’s death, he did detail the procedures involved in removing an inmate from suicide watch. He described suicide watch as a “short term and highly restrictive intervention measure.”
“Upon the termination of a suicide watch, the psychologist will make recommendations to support the inmate’s safe management, such as housing with a cellmate or participation in treatment interventions,” Mr. Boyd wrote. “Inmates removed from suicide watch are returned to regular custody placement, which may include the Special Housing Unit.”
Mr. Boyd also vowed to that the Justice Department’s probe into Epstein’s alleged criminal activities remains ongoing.
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