U.S. Army General Mark S. Inch has been tapped to lead the federal Bureau of Prisons, overseeing a 40,000-employee system that holds 187,000 prisoners in about 150 facilities nationwide. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the appointment on Tuesday. Inch, a 35-year Army veteran, is a former military policeman who was head of the Army Corrections Command, among other positions, says the Associated Press. Sessions says that experience makes Inch “uniquely qualified” to oversee federal prisons.
Inch most recently served as an Army adviser on policing issues, developing programs and policies related to the Army’s police organizations. He was also commanding general of the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 in Kabul, Afghanistan, responsible for “detainee operations.” His Army biography says he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Archaeology from Wheaton College in Illinois and a master’s degrees in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin. He replaces Thomas Kane, who had served as acting prisons director since January 2016.