Former Manhattan jail warden, now in Wichita, reacts to Epstein death

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A Wichita woman is in the national headlines this week, in connection to the jail Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein died by apparent suicide.

Catherine Linaweaver, now a professor at Wichita State University, served as warden in Manhattan's corrections center from 2013-2014.

Epstein was in the New York facility, awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing underage girls.

New details surrounding his death suggest guards did not check on Epstein as required by protocol. The warden and corrections officers assigned to watch Epstein have all been reassigned. The officers were both reportedly on overtime shifts at the time of his death.

"Unfortunately, even though many people predicted this several years ago, it takes a bad incident like this, and everybody says oh my gosh, we have to do something about the staffing levels," says Linaweaver.

She says the employees at the New York facility work too much overtime; a problem she noted during her time as warden.

"What has occurred is you have staff working overtime. After a while, that becomes very taxing and that could have played into a factor. Again, that's speculation according to some of the sources that the thirty-minute rounds were not being done," says Linaweaver.

Epstein was on suicide watch for a short period, but was placed in a special housing unit at the time of his death. It's typically used for people who need more security than someone in general population.

"Many people have asked me why is someone this high profile just not on suicide watch and observation all of the time?" Said Linaweaver. "I say, we wouldn't do that for just any inmate. If they need suicide watch, they are put on suicide watch. If they need high security, we will give them high security. It's not necessarily about who the person is."