U.S. prisons chief removed after Epstein’s death

United States Secretary of Justice William Bar dismissed the interim director of the Federal Prison Agency more than a week after financier Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in his cell in federal custody.

The decision to shift Hugh Hurwitz, who has been acting since May 2018, is taken when the evidence increases that guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York waived their responsibility to prevent Epstein from committing suicide while awaiting trial for allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The FBI and the inspector general of the Department of Justice are investigating his death.

Barr appointed Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, who was director of the agency between 1992 and 2003, as a replacement. Hurwitz will take a position as a substitute in charge of the agency’s re-entry programs, where he will work with Barr to implement the First Step Law, a reform to criminal justice.

The agency is under intense scrutiny since Epstein’s death, when lawmakers and Barr demand answers on how they left Epstein unsupervised and was able to take his own life on August 10 in one of the safest federal prisons in the United States.

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