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CCA hires Former BOP Director Harley Lappin

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) recently hired Harley Lappin who used to direct the Bureau of Prisons (BOP); the country’s largest prison agency.  The new hire emphasizes the sphere of influence that CCA can control by employing former government officials who strengthen the company's relationships with lawmakers and administrators.

Private prison companies like CCA look to the BOP as a client with continuing potential.   Unfortunately, it's a client that relies on incarceration and displacing people from their home communities.  We have reported before that with state fiscal crises one of the few prison systems expanding is the federal one.  The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other nation in the word.  During the last 30 years the federal prison population has exploded and now incarcerates over 210,000 people at a cost of $6 billion each year – an increase of 700% in population and 1700% in spending. 

Lappin's new CCA job will only open doors between the company and the BOP as the agency looks to address capacity issues.  Despite debates over the deficit, Congress is not as pressed to contain corrections costs as some states are.  As a result, there may be an opportunity to expand to CCA federal contracts with Lappin's role at the company.  Especially, as the FY 2012 appropriations process comes to a close.  Currently, the Senate has set aside funding for reentry programs and increased the BOP's budget by $300 million to support new prison construction over the next four years.  We will keep y'all posted.