WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff is dropping a work-release program that allowed wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to visit his office most days while staying at the county jail a decade ago.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw released a statement Monday saying that he had ended the program that allowed a few jail inmates to continue working. The decision came after the program was reviewed by the county’s independent Criminal Justice Commission.
Bradshaw also said inmates will only be allowed on house arrest if a judge orders it and will need the judge’s permission to work elsewhere.
Bradshaw suspended the program in August after it received criticism because of Epstein’s treatment after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to prostitution-related charges involving underage girls.
During his 13-month stay at the jail, Epstein spent most days at his office. His driver would pick him and a guard up in the morning and he would spend the day working and meeting with visitors, before returning to the jail to sleep. Epstein was also able to visit his Palm Beach mansion, despite restrictions on home visits.
Authorities say Epstein, 66, killed himself in his New York City jail cell in August after federal agents arrested him on new sex trafficking charges.