The New York prison where businessman Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sex trafficking of minors, committed suicide in 2019, will close its doors to “solve problems,” the Justice Department said Thursday.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center of New York (MCC NY), located in southern Manhattan, will close “at least temporarily,” and according to sources indicated to the local media New York Daily News, the closure could occur next month.
“In an effort to address the problems at MCC NY as quickly and efficiently as possible, the Department has decided to close MCC, at least temporarily, until those problems have been resolved,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
The text also notes that “deactivation plans are underway,” and that more details about them will be forthcoming as “the process continues.”
The jail currently holds 263 prisoners, compared to more than 700 in previous years, Prison Department figures show.
As a worker at the center, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Daily News, the facility “is falling apart.”
“Literally, for years, there are water leaks,” said the source, who said that one of the main reasons for making this decision is “the deterioration of the infrastructure.”
He noted, moreover, that most of the inmates in this prison will go to Brooklyn’s federal prison, the Sunset Park Metropolitan Detention Center, where more than 100 of them have been transferred in the last year.
Some of the highest-profile prisoners have been incarcerated at the MCC, including drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Jeffrey Epstein, the late businessman accused of a vast child sex trafficking ring who has been linked to figures like former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Epstein’s death in this facility caused huge controversy and uncovered a series of system failures, such as several defective security cameras located in front of the deceased’s cell.