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Former BOP director hired by Corrections Corporation of America

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Hat tip t

Harley Lappin
Harley Lappin
o the Private Corrections Working Group who first alerted me to this story.  In a story reminiscent to that of Stacia Hylton - the former US Marshals contracting officer turned GEO Group lobbyist turned US Marshals director - immediate past Bureau of Prisons (BOP) director Harley Lappin has been hired by Corrections Corporation of America as an executive vice president and "chief corrections officer."   

Lappin retired just last month from the BOP after it was revealed that he had been arrested for drunken and reckless driving.  PCWG sums up the problem with the private prison revolving door in their press release:

"Former BOP director Lappin’s decision to join CCA represents a continuing trend under the Obama administration of former senior federal employees taking jobs in an industry closely related to their government service. By hiring high-level former federal officials, companies can capitalize on their insider knowledge of government operations, contract requirements and other information that gives them an advantage when dealing with federal agencies.

This is particularly problematic in terms of prison operations, when companies such as CCA lobby heavily (spending approximately $1 million on the federal level alone) to influence legislation and obtain lucrative contracts to house federal prisoners in for-profit prisons."

In fact, recent data released by the Detention Watch Network found that CCA has spent more than $18 million over the last 10 years lobbying the federal government alone, including directly lobbying the Bureau of Prisons. 

And, that lobbying pays off.  Here in Texas, CCA operates the 1,500 bed Eden Correctional Center for the BOP, and the company has won major contracts from the BOP in recent years.  With a current round of BOP contracts being decided at the BOP, it will be interesting to see how much influence Mr. Lappin's recent employment gives CCA in Washington.

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