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The Completely Predictable Death of Jeffrey Epstein

7 109 0
11.08.2019

The reported suicide on Saturday of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in a federal jail cell in the heart of Manhattan was both utterly shocking and completely predictable. It’s shocking that the Bureau of Prisons was unable to keep Epstein alive pending his federal sex trafficking trial and that jail officials, knowing the world was watching this case so closely, allowed his death even after Epstein’s apparent failed attempt to take his own life three weeks ago. That’s negligence by definition, whether the celebrity defendant was placed on or taken off “suicide watch.

But inmate suicides are such a regular part of life in American prisons and jails that none of us should be surprised whenever they occur. They are the leading cause of death behind bars, and have been for many years, and the problem seems to be getting worse. The latest statistics, from 2014, tell us the rate of suicides in jails was the highest it’s been since at least 2000. This even though there is more public awareness surrounding the phenomenon and a cry for better records (and details) about the number of suicides that take place each year.

Inmates suicides are an epidemic corrections officials won’t talk about. The deaths transcend race and geography.........

© New Republic