The warden who oversaw the federal prison where infamous financier Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide was permitted to quietly leave the Bureau of Prisons in February, according to the Bureau of Prisons. His departure came in the midst of an investigation into how one of the government’s most high-profile convicts was able to commit suicide while in detention.
Lamine N’Diaye retired from the Bureau of Prisons on February 26, according to Kristie Breshears, a representative for the department, who talked to The Associated Press on Tuesday. The warden of FCI Fort Dix, a low-security prison in Burlington County, New Jersey, was his most recent position.
That decision was made despite the continuing federal investigation and in direct contravention to a public statement made by the Bureau of Prisons, which stated that it would defer N’Diaye’s transfer to any jail until the Justice Department’s inspector general’s investigation was completed.
Located on the grounds of the joint military base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix (FCI Fort Dix) is the largest single federal prison in terms of population, housing just under 3,000 inmates. Minimum-security convicts are housed in an adjacent prison camp, which holds 231 inmates.
Jeffrey Epstein, is not the only issue that faced the federal prison warden
While serving as warden at Fort Dix, a fellow convict stabbed a prisoner in the eyeball, exemplifying the horrifying chronic violence that afflicts the Federal Bureau of Prisons and prompting calls from congressional members for the resignation of Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal. Carvajal announced his resignation in January, but he has continued to serve as acting attorney general as the Justice Department seeks for a replacement.
Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that a handful of inmates, some of whom were believed to be friends and associates of the suspected attacker, have been held in segregated housing units for more than four months and that some have been threatened with transfers if they don’t cooperate with the investigation into the stabbing. The individuals talked to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were unable to speak publicly about the situation.
N’Diaye was previously the warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal prison in Manhattan that has since been closed down. His job was terminated after Epstein committed suicide at the jail while awaiting trial on allegations of sex trafficking in 2019. He was serving a prison sentence at the time.
As reported by prosecutors, the guards who were supposed to be keeping an eye on Epstein were instead resting and surfing the internet. However, this investigation covered up what the BOP is actually like, and what guards in the federal prison system, actually do on a regular basis. After years of issues, the Bureau of Prisons closed the facility in October for much-needed renovations, however, it is possible that it will never reopen.
The Bureau of Prisons named N’Diaye as warden at Fort Dix in February 2021, despite the fact that a federal investigation into lapses that led to Epstein’s death was still ongoing and in direct contradiction to the agency’s previous statement that it would not make any decisions until the investigation was completed.
Earlier in the year, the agency attempted to place N’Diaye in the Fort Dix position, but the transfer was halted by then-Attorney General William Barr when the Associated Press disclosed the transfer.
The inspector general of the Justice Department has not yet completed his investigation into the matter. The investigation, according to a representative for Inspector General Michael Horowitz, is still proceeding as of Tuesday.