Barr Appoints New Bureau Of Prisons Leadership As DOJ Probes Epstein's Death

Cheryl Sanders
August 20, 2019

Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, who previously served in the position for over a decade, between 1992-2003, will take over the role from acting director Hugh Hurwitz, who has been temporarily serving in the position since May of a year ago. Barr said in a speech last week that he was "appalled" by Epstein's death, and multiple federal agencies, as well as the House Judiciary Committee, are now investigating the matter.

Hugh Hurwitz, who has been serving as the bureau's acting director - including when Epstein was found unresponsive over a week ago in a Manhattan jail cell - has been reassigned to his prior position within the agency.

Mr Barr named Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, the prison agency's director from 1992 to 2003, to replace Mr Hurwitz, who is moving to a role as a deputy in charge of the bureau's re-entry programmes, where he will work with Mr Barr on the First Step Act, a criminal justice overhaul.

A statement from Barr on Monday gave no specific reason for the reassignment.

The bureau has come under intense scrutiny since Epstein's death, with politicians and Barr demanding answers about how Epstein was left unsupervised and able to take his own life on August 10 while held at one of the most secure federal jails in the US. Two corrections officers assigned to Epstein's unit were placed on administrative leave pending investigations. She worked as a psychologist at a federal correctional facility in West Virginia, served as an associate warden and then a warden at other facilities, and ultimately was nominated to lead the agency during Barr's first stint as attorney general in the early 1990s. AP noted, "Guards on the unit are now suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were making the checks, according to another person familiar with the probe".

The senators had a variety of concerns about the operations of federal prisons, ranging from the safety of inmates and correctional officers to more parochial issues such as the effects of prison manufacturing businesses on local industry.

The different federal investigations are now ongoing into Epstein's suicide, with TMZ reporting that his legal team is "not ruling out the possibility someone strangled him and then put a sheet around his neck to make it look like death by hanging".

Attorney General William Barr confirmed Monday the appointment of a new director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons after the death of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein inside his New York City jail cell. Dr. Kane served in the Bureau for over 30 years under four Attorney Generals and is known for his expertise and proficiency in prison management and organization. "The victims deserve justice, and they will get it", he added.

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