Hughes began his career with the Department of Corrections as a correctional officer in 1999. He was promoted to a classification and treatment officer in 2001, a unit administrator in 2004, and a unit administrator II in 2006.
In 2015 he was promoted to administrative section supervisor. In this role, Hughes serves as the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance manager. He monitors all PREA actions to ensure compliance and he is often called upon to conduct PREA audits for other institutions. He instituted an annual in-service training for Northpoint's PREA investigators to ensure they are well trained and producing the highest level of investigations possible.
Hughes received his bachelor's degree from Johnson University. He is a past recipient of Achievement Awards in 2009 and 2017. He is a 2012 graduate of the Commissioner's Executive Leadership Program and a member of the Herrington Lake Chapter of the Kentucky Council on Crime and Delinquency (KCCD)