Gen. Mark Inch Called ‘Mystery Man’ at Bureau of Prisons

Little is know about what retired two-star general Mark Inch may do as new head of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. One former employee says he “has the ability to think outside the box.”

Mark Inch, the retired two-star general chosen by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to run the Bureau of Prisons, retired from the Army in May after more than three decades in the military, mostly as a police officer, The Marshall Project reports. Some prison advocates are wary of a leader from an organization disgraced by the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Others say a military man may have the courage and discipline to move a stodgy federal prison system toward reforms that have been stalled for years. “He would provide strong leadership, demand accountability, transparency, and I believe he would be a general who has the ability to think outside the box,” said Jack Donson, who worked for the Bureau of Prisons for more than two decades.

The Bureau of Prisons houses more than 187,000 inmates and employs more than 39,000 workers in 122 facilities. “It’s odd to say the least to see another former military official take the lead on a civilian domestic policy issue,” said Ed Chung of the liberal Center for American Progress. “He’s kind of a mystery man way out of the blue.” DOJ refused a request for an interview with Inch. In 2014, he was appointed Provost Marshal General, the top military police officer of the U.S. Army, and took command of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and Army Corrections.