Both officers who were guarding Epstein were working overtime because of staffing shortages. One of the guards, who did not primarily work as a correctional officer, was working a fifth straight day of overtime. The other guard was working mandatory overtime, meaning a second eight-hour shift of the day.
The conspiracists said that Epstein’s death, under constant supervision, in a high-security wing of a prison, was orchestrated by the CIA to silence one of their most-valuable intelligence gathering assets. And I have been sympathetic to the notion. I mean, how could two guards, on round-the-clock suicide watch, right outside of his cell, have let this go unnoticed? Surely, they had to be in on the conspiracy, right?
No, the answer to at least this part of the tragedy of letting Epstein wiggle away from justice comes quite neatly back to our privatized prisons, and their colossal misalignment between society’s goals for a penal system, and squeezing as much profit out of the capital investment as possible. In retrospect, this is, of course, the perfectly-predicted answer: terribly overworked “guards,” and a lackadaisical accountability that had to have pervaded the workplace so that people could actually “work” in a place that could demand 16-hour shifts for 5 days straight.
The moral of the story is that, if the CIA actually sent someone in to kill Epstein, they didn’t even need to fool with the guards. Our privatized prison system made them a perfect asset for the plot without even needing to get them on-board, and leave the conspiracy vulnerable to the lowest ranks talking. I’m sure Congress will be holding hearings on our prison system, and demanding strong reforms any day now.