Harley Lappin director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, will retire May 7. Lappin has run the bureau for eight years. An agency employee for 25 years, Lappin became warden of the federal prison in Butner, N.C., in 1996. The prison included a forensic center, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric units, sex offender treatment, and a satellite prison camp. In 1998, he moved to become warden at the U.S. Penitentiary at Terre Haute, IN, where he activated a Special Confinement Unit, which houses federal inmates under death sentences, and he presided over the first two federal executions since 1963.
In testimony March 15 before a House subcommittee on the bureau’s $6.7 billion budget request for the fiscal year beginning October 1, Lappin talked about “severe crowding” in some of the agency’s facilities housing 171,000 inmates (another 29,000 federal inmates are in private facilities.”) Lappin said he federal prisoner population is increasing, and that he expects it to grow for the foreseeable future. The bureau noted that Lappin has “championed the Inmate Skills Development Initiative,” which is aimed at improving prisoner re-entry into society.