The guards who were tasked with keeping an eye on Jeffrey Epstein reportedly did not follow procedure on the night he hanged himself in his cell.
According to a report in the New York Times, guards were supposed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes but did not on the night before he was found dead.
In addition, the Times says the jail transferred Epstein's cellmate, leaving him to be housed alone, just two weeks after he had been taken off suicide watch. That move is in violation of the jail's normal procedure.
The Times also said that the prison was understaffed and that the two guards who were on duty in the special housing unit where Epstein was being kept were both working overtime, one of whom was on his fifth straight day of overtime.
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at 6:30 AM on Saturday.
The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating the circumstances leading up to Epstein's death.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan was already facing criticism for taking Epstein off of suicide watch after he was found in his cell on July 23 with injuries that appeared to point to a suicide attempt.
Epstein's death came one day after thousands of documents were unsealed in connection with a defamation cause against his alleged recruiter that revealed dozens of high-profile names including former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
Epstein was arrested on July 6 at Teterboro, New Jersey, as he returned from Paris on a private jet, over the alleged sexual abuse of dozens of young girls in his Upper East Side townhouse and his waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida between 2002 and 2005.
He allegedly created and maintained a “vast network” and operation that enabled him to “sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls” in addition to paying victims to recruit other underage girls.
Prosecutors said that victims would be escorted to a room with a massage table where they would perform sexual massages on Epstein.
At the time of Epstein's arrest, prosecutors said they found a trove of pictures of nude and seminude young women and girls at his $77 million Manhattan mansion. They also say additional victims have come forward since the arrest.
He had pleaded not guilty and faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.