Departments and Divisions


To protect the citizens of the Commonwealth and to provide a safe, secure and humane environment for staff and offenders in carrying out the mandates of the legislative and judicial processes; and, to provide opportunities for offenders to acquire skills which facilitate non-criminal behavior.

 Commissioner's Office 

Commissioner LaDonna H. Thompson


Commissioner LaDonna H. Thompson

LaDonna H. Thompson began her career with the Kentucky Department of Corrections in 1989.  She made history when Governor Steve Beshear named her Commissioner, marking the first time a woman has been chosen for the top Kentucky Department of Corrections’ post.

As one of the original correctional officers at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, Thompson moved on to hold a position at Kentucky State Reformatory and Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange.  She made her way up through the ranks, working with the VINE program (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), inmate classification and population management divisions.  Thompson spent two and a half years as Deputy Commissioner of the agency.

During her career in Corrections, Thompson has received numerous awards, including three honors for distinguished service to the department. A graduate of the Leadership Kentucky class of 2007, her awards also include two for recommendations that resulted in fiscal savings for the Commonwealth. Thompson was a 2007 recipient of the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” Award presented by the National Center for Women and Policing, and she was selected as a participant in the 2006 NIC Executive Leadership for Women class.

A graduate of Morehead State University, Thompson received her degree in psychology and sociology.

Deputy Commissioner of Support Services, Kimberly Potter-Blair

Deputy Commissioner of Support Services, Kimberly Potter-Blair

Kimberly Potter-Blair, as Deputy Commissioner of Support Services, is responsible for administrative services, corrections training, budget management, offender information, information technology, population management, and re-entry branch.

Potter-Blair began her career with the Department of Corrections on Feb. 1, 1998 as a Corrections Officer at Blackburn Correctional Complex. She was promoted to caseworker at Blackburn before transferring to the Division of Probation & Parole in District 9 on Dec. 16, 1999. After supervising a caseload of offenders for approximately four years, Potter-Blair was promoted to Assistant District Supervisor for District 9 on Nov. 1, 2003, and then to District Supervisor in October of 2005.

During her time in District 9, which encompasses Fayette County, she was instrumental in the efficient flow of court work in the Fayette Circuit Court system. She has also been active in helping to create the Fayette County Re-Entry Program for offenders on probation and parole, as well as coordinating efforts with the CJ-DATS research project with the University of Kentucky. Additionally, Potter-Blair is a member of the Fayette County Transitions Committee which works to aid in the re-entry of all incarcerated individuals back into the community.

During her career, Potter-Blair has been a member of the Kentucky State Parole Officers’ Association and the Kentucky Council on Crime and Delinquency, where she previously served as President of the Bluegrass Chapter of KCCD. She is a graduate of the inaugural Commissioner’s Executive Leadership Program, which began in May 2005.

Potter-Blair is a graduate of Kentucky State University. Where she received her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's in Public Administration. 

Deputy Commissioner Community Services, Paula Holden

Deputy Commissioner of Community Services, Paula Holden

Paula Holden is a 30-year veteran of the Kentucky Department of Corrections. As Deputy Commissioner of Community Services, Holden will oversee DOC's Probation & Parole Division and Local Facilities.

Prior to her promotion, she served as assistant director and director of classification and population management. In that position, she monitored and coordinated inmate population and transfer issues within DOC prisons and county jails.

Holden began her Corrections career at the Kentucky State Reformatory in 1978 as a clerical assistant for three summers while attending college. She was then hired as a correctional officer at KSR in 1982 and a year later was promoted to classification and treatment officer at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex.

While at Luther Luckett, Holden also worked as an offender rehabilitation specialist and unit administrator I. She transferred to Roederer Correctional Complex and at that prison held a number of positions including unit administrator II and program administrator of the Assessment/Classification Center.

In December 2003, Holden was promoted to Deputy Warden at Roederer and served in that position until 2006 when she was promoted to director of population management.

A 1981 graduate of Murray State University, Holden received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and corrections. She graduated suma cum laude and was named the outstanding graduating senior in corrections.

Deputy Commissioner of Adult Institutions, Jim Erwin

Deputy Commissioner of Adult Institutions, Jim Erwin

James L. Erwin is a 25-year veteran of Corrections.  Before his promotion to Deputy Commissioner he served as Director of Adult Institutions for the Department for three years.

Erwin began his career in August 1985 as a Correctional Officer with Jefferson County.  In 1987 he began work with the state of Kentucky at the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR), first as a Classification and Treatment Officer and then as a Unit Administrator.

In 1996 Erwin began work for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as an inspector of institutional services.  He continued his career in Ohio as a Unit Management Administrator, Deputy Warden, acting Warden and Warden at several Ohio Prisons.  He has been Warden at two institutions with large populations specializing in mental health residential treatment, correctional industries, sex offender treatment and substance abuse treatment.

Erwin is a 1984 graduate of Centre College in Danville and received his master’s degree in Administrative Justice from the University of Louisville in 1987.  He is a member of several professional organizations including the American Correctional Association, North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents, Ohio Wardens and Superintendents Association and International Association of Reentry.