Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women


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.

 Inmate Programs 


The Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women began a partnership with Paws with Purpose to train inmates as dog handlers and to have the inmates train the dogs to become assist dogs.  At the end of FY 2004, nine dogs and 11 inmates were participating in the program.  The Paws with Purpose program allows KCIW to contribute to a better life for a disabled child or adult.

As an inmate puppy trainer, inmates are responsible for the puppy’s first 15-18 months of life.  They prepare the puppy for their future role as a service dog by teaching them basic commands and socialization skills, and exposing them to a variety of environments.

PWP Mission Statement
Paws with Purpose is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing professionally trained, highly skilled service dogs and continued support throughout the partnership to ensure successful, long-term relationships.

Life Without a Crutch

Life Without a Crutch is a substance abuse class.  It is a ten-week class that meets once a week for one and one-half hours.  Participants must be within twelve months of parole eligibility or minimum expiration of sentence.  Priority consideration is given to inmates who will meet the Parole Board within three months.

Self Help Groups

Alcohol Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon are self-help substance abuse groups.  These groups meet weekly.

Rational and Emotive Therapy

Rational and Emotive Therapy (RET) is an approach therapy that was developed by psychologist and psychoanalysist Albert Ellis.  Two RET facilitators are conducting groups at the present time.  The groups meet one hour each week over a period of ten weeks.  Priority consideration is given to inmates who are within three months of meeting the Parole Board.


The Exiting class is offered to inmates who will meet the Parole Board within one month.  The class meets for one and one-half hours for ten periods.  The activities include:  resume preparation, mock employment application completion and simulated Parole Board interviews.

Community Reintegration Services

Community Reintegration Services addresses the transitional needs of severely mentally ill inmates who will complete their sentences within six months.  The staff members work closely with the inmates prior to release and continue to work with them for two years beyond release.

Aftercare Task Force

Approximately two years ago, an Aftercare Task Force began meeting to explore ways of providing transitional assistance to releasees in need.  Reverend Suzanne Seabold, who is Executive Director of Prodigal Ministries, heads the Task Force.  The Task Force includes representatives from local halfway houses, Probation and Parole, Spalding University, the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women and others.  Through the efforts of Reverend Seabold, several inmates have been assisted in finding housing and jobs.  Reverend Seabold will be coming to this institution in the near future to work with another inmate.


  1. Academic instruction is offered to inmates who are deficient in basic literacy and those who need to enhance skills to pursue general education development diplomas.
  2. The technical offerings consist of KVAT diploma programs in Building and Apartment Management, Business Technology and Horticulture.
  3. Consumer Family Life Skills consist of offering in Personal Development, Human and Family Relations and Consumer Education.  All new inmates are required to complete the Personal Development component.
  4. Inmates may pursue associate degrees through Jefferson Community College.  College classes are offered in the Fall and Spring semesters of the academic year.
  5. Inmates may pursue baccalaureate degrees or other certificates through correspondence and independent study programs.  An inmate must have her program of study approved and monitored by the principal of the school.

Special Visit Programs

Inmates are allowed to participate in special visit programs that are designed to foster relationships with their newborns and/or children.  Mothers of newborns and young babies (birth to the age of 3) may have five bonding visits each week for a maximum of two hours each day.

The other special visitation program is Girl Scouts Behind Bars.  Kentuckiana Girl Scouts and the institution supervise the program jointly.  Girl Scout staff members bring the daughters (Girl Scouts) of incarcerated mothers to visit with their mothers twice a month.  In addition, Girl Scout staff members conduct separate meetings with the daughters in the community.

Religious Activities

  1. The Chaplain conducts morning and afternoon worship services each Sunday. In addition to these services, various churches conduct worship during the week and Sunday evenings.
  2. Inmates are allowed the opportunity to participate in religious study groups of the doctrines of their particular faiths.
  3. The Chaplain provides pastoral care counseling and conducts grief relief sessions.
  4. Special religious programs by outside groups are offered throughout the year.  Groups such as Bill Glass and Prison Fellowship Ministries offer these programs.

Counseling and Therapy Groups

  1. The Division of Mental Health increased significantly during 2001 the number of staff members assigned to this institution.  In addition to its offering of a myriad of individual and group counseling and therapy opportunities, the Division is developing programs to meet the needs of the severely mentally ill population.
  2. The Sex Offender Treatment Program is open to those inmates who meet the entry criteria.
  3. The Center for Women and Families (Shelbyville, Kentucky) conducts groups on Domestic Violence and Adult Survivors of Sexual Assault.
  4. Rational Emotive Therapy is an approach to therapy that was developed by Psychologist and Psychoanalyst Albert Ellis.  Three RET groups are operating at the institution at the present time.  The groups meet one time a week over ten weeks.

Substance Abuse and Self-Help Group Programs

  1. The Substance Abuse Program is an inpatient substance abuse treatment program.  This component lasts six to eight months with an expectation of additional follow up and aftercare treatment.
  2. Inmates have opportunities to participate in various substance abuse self-help groups.  These groups are:  Alcohol Anonymous, Cross Addition Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon.
  3. Life Without a Crutch is a substance abuse class.  This class meets one time a week for approximately twelve weeks.