WASHINGTON - Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today the hiring of Gary Simpson to serve as the new CEO of Federal Prisons Industries (FPI).

"Today, Federal Prison Industries remains the Bureau of Prisons' largest and most successful reentry program, helping men and women find a new sense of purpose and develop concrete skills that they can bring back to their communities," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. "I am pleased to welcome its new CEO, Gary Simpson - an expert in manufacturing operations with 28 years of experience. Over the next few years, Gary will spearhead a business transformation plan to expand FPI's activities - using a business model that results in no costs to the taxpayers - to ensure that more incarcerated individuals can take advantage of this vital program."

Gary Simpson comes to FPI with over 28 years of experience in manufacturing operations at Procter and Gamble. Simpson is an expert in the areas of cost effective product launches, operational turnarounds and sourcing optimization. He will use these skills to lead FPI's business transformation plan.

"I'm honored for the opportunity to lead Federal Prisons Industries through this transformative period," Simpson said. "For more than 80 years, FPI has provided job skills training to federal inmates and helped prepare them to return to their respective communities. This program has been and will continue to be, a vital part of the Department of Justice's reentry initiatives.

FPI is a voluntary industrial work program that operates as a wholly owned government corporation. It is the largest reentry program within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), providing job skills training to almost 12,000 federal inmates. FPI operates without any appropriations from Congress and instead primarily relies on proceeds generated from the sale of inmate-produced goods to federal agencies, with the Department of Defense being the chief source of business.

FPI benefits not only those within the federal prison system, but society as a whole. Research has shown that participants in the program are 24 percent less likely to reoffend and are 14 percent more likely to obtain employment upon release from custody. In Fiscal Year 2014, $1 million of earnings from FPI helped inmates contribute to financial obligations including court-ordered fines, restitution and familial support.

The hiring of Simpson is one of the steps the department is taking to ensure that FPI remains a viable program in which federal offenders become productive, law-abiding citizens.

Gary was drawn out of retirement to accept this challenge for the following reasons:

Mission - I am inspired by FPI's Mission to serve our country by helping people successfully re-enter society through job training.

Challenge - The FPI business has been in steep decline for the past 6 years. Annual sales have dropped from close to $1 billion to the current $400 million with inmates employed dropping from 25,000 to 12,000. The waiting list for people to work in FPI has grown to 25,000 inmates. Currently the business has lost money in each of the last 4 years. Without improvement, it is possible that this program, started by FDR in 1934, might be shutdown. Taking on the challenge to turnaround this troubled business at this time in my life is very compelling.

Gary Michael Simpson Appointment Announcement in PDF format.

Updated: February 25, 2017
Curator: Ed Moore