Gary M. Lanigan, who has more than three decades of experience in the criminal justice and financial management realms, was confirmed as Governor Chris Christie’s choice as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections in March 2010.
Prior to his current appointment by Governor Christie, the Commissioner served as Director of Budgets and Financial Management at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he was responsible for the direction and financial planning of the authority’s $11 billion operating budget.
Prior to that, Mr. Lanigan served in the New York City Department of Correction for nine years during both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations. As the Deputy Commissioner of Administration, followed by a position as First Deputy Commissioner, he oversaw all operational functions for the department’s 16 jails, 15 court holding facilities, four prison hospital wards and 12,400 uniformed and civilian personnel.
In addition, Mr. Lanigan spent seven years with the New York City Police Department, as Assistant Commissioner for Financial Affairs. In that role, he managed budget, contract and financial analysis functions.
Prior to his time with the New York City Police Department, Mr. Lanigan was an analyst with the New York City Office of Management and Budget, with financial oversight of various agencies in New York City, including the Law Department and the Department of General Services.
The Commissioner, a veteran of the United States Navy, received both a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Bernard M. Baruch College. He is also a graduate of the Police Management Institute sponsored by the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Mr. Lanigan also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University Leadership Institute.
As head of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Mr. Lanigan is responsible for a budget of roughly $1 billion, approximately 8,000 employees, 13 correctional institutions and nearly 23,000 state-sentenced offenders housed in prisons, county jails and community halfway houses. Since his appointment as Commissioner, Mr. Lanigan’s most prominent accomplishments include implementing a performance-based management system called C.H.A.N.G.E. (Challenge Historical Assumptions Nobly Generating Efficiencies) to measure and manage performance in the areas of security, administration, programs, healthcare and mental health; implementing a tobacco-free policy in all state prisons; encouraging all managers and staff to become more efficient, thereby reducing the department’s overtime expenditures by almost 40%; and obtaining a 93% reduction in county jail expenditures by substantially reducing the number of state-sentenced inmates in the county jails.