NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Jack Donson, a former correction-officer-turned-prison-expert, said that while there is shock over Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in jail, he's not surprised.
"Even if the officers were doing proper 30-minute checks, they could not prevent someone from taking their life in a special housing unit," Donson told FOX 5 NY morning program, 'Good Day New York.'
Epstein was taken off a suicide watch last month for reasons that have not been explained, and was supposed to have been checked on by a guard every 30 minutes. But investigators learned those checks weren't done for several hours before he was found Saturday morning.
The average suicide watch is 72 hours followed by a clinician accessing the inmate to determine if a prolonged suicide watch would be needed. In that event, the inmate would be transferred to a medical center.
"There is no interim status between administrative detention and suicide watch and that's the kicker. He could not go to general population because of the nature of the crime and (its) high profile. It was a very unusual case from a management perspective," said Donson.
While the focus is on Epstein, there is a bigger problem within the Bureau of Prisons..
"The staff indifference is an endemic problem with the Bureau of Prisons. I'm not going to throw the current management structure (at Manhattan Correctional Center) under the bus. This started in the 90s and this has been a slow progression. It's not the fault of some officers. There is a bigger broader problem that I hope the attorney general will investigate," said Donson.
As to why he wasn't watched around the clock, Donson points to laws governing the way those things are done.
"They have cameras in certain cells. He probably had a camera in the suicide cell. When he goes back to regular housing unit there are all kinds of reasons why there are no cameras in certain cells. You do everything in that cell in 23 hours. What about the privacy issues?" said Donson.
The FBI, Inspector General and Bureau of Prison are now investigating Epstein's death.
"It's all going to come out," added Donson.