Lower Manhattan

MCC, Lower Manhattan Jail Where Jeffrey Epstein Died, Transfers Out All Inmates

Once hailed as a prototype for a new kind of federal jail and the most secure in the country, the Metropolitan Correctional Center is closing to undergo much-needed repairs, the DOJ said, but it may never reopen

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The last few inmates at the MCC were transferred to a facility in Brooklyn, after the deteriorated Manhattan locked was closed for repairs.

What to Know

  • The last inmates housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan will be transferred out and will be sent to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn by the end of business Monday, leaving the federal jail with zero inmates, an official familiar with the matter tells News 4 New York.
  • The last few inmates had afternoon court appearances and then were set to be transferred to MDC - Brooklyn once those hearings ended.
  • Once hailed as a prototype for a new kind of federal jail and the most secure in the country, conditions at the MCC have badly deteriorated to the point that the Justice Department said it would close the facility to undergo much-needed repairs — but it may never reopen

The last inmates housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan will be transferred out and will be sent to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn by the end of business Monday, leaving the federal jail with zero inmates, an official familiar with the matter tells News 4 New York.

The last few inmates had afternoon court appearances and then were set to be transferred to MDC - Brooklyn once those hearings ended.

Once hailed as a prototype for a new kind of federal jail and the most secure in the country, conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center have badly deteriorated.

The Justice Department said in August it would close the jail to undertake much-needed repairs — and a department spokesperson said Tuesday the Bureau of Prisons had concluded the transfer required as part of that planned deactivation.

Inmates were mainly transferred to the MDC Brooklyn facility, as well as a limited number of other appropriate facilities, the spokesperson said. MCC employees, including health services staff, are being temporarily assigned to the MDC Brooklyn facility, and many are expected to transition into permanent positions there.

"The Department remains committed to ensuring that every facility in the federal prison system is not only safe and secure, but also provides people in custody with the resources and programs they need to make a successful return to society after they have served their time," the DOJ statement continued.

The Metropolitan Correctional Center, located in Lower Manhattan, has housed a slew of famously well-known criminals — El Chapo, John Gotti, Bernie Madoff, and some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. Prisoners are held at the jail as they await their trials or transfers to other federal prisons after conviction.

It has kept close to 900 inmates in the past. Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, an accused pedophile and sex trafficker, killed himself there in August 2019.

His death exposed a slew of problems inside the jail, and that list has only grown; the rampant spread of the coronavirus, the squalid conditions, a loaded gun smuggled in and other inmates' deaths.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press