Acting Director of the Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz was removed from his role on Monday by Attorney General William Barr. His reassignment comes a little over a week since Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide inside a federal prison. Barr’s decision to remove the nation’s top prison official follows revelations that the guards charged with checking on Epstein every half hour failed to do so, and allegedly faked log entries claiming they had. The Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Epstein was being held, is purportedly one of the most secure federal jails in America but has been chronically understaffed and neglected. Both guards responsible for monitoring Epstein on the night of his death were working overtime shifts. The FBI and the Justice Department Inspector general are now investigating the incident. Hurwitz was appointed acting director in 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He will be replaced by Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, who previously served as director from 1992 to 2003.
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