About Us


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.

 Our Employees


2016 Awards
Awards List

Awards Slide Show

2015 Awards
Awards List
Awards Slide Show

2014 Awards
Awards List
Awards Slide Show

2013 Awards
Awards List
Awards Slide Show


  Cheri Kraus - National Award Recipient

Cheri Kraus, Branch Manager for Kentucky Correctional Industries, was recently selected as the recipient of the 2013 National Staff Award from the National Correctional Industries Association, Inc. Kraus received the honor for the Southeast Region a few months prior to her national recognition. The awards recognize the “superior performance and supervisory excellence” of a correctional industries staff member who has made “significant and sustained contribution” to a correctional industries program.

  DOC Employees Recognized for Savings Suggestions

Pictured above (left to right); Green River Correctional Complex Offender Information Specialist Vanessa Dortch, Northpoint Training Center Fiscal Manager Stephanie Wilkerson and Central Office Administrative Coordinator Johnathan Hall. The DOC employees were recognized for their submissions to the Kentucky Employee Suggestion System (KESS). KESS is an incentive program designed to encourage employees to participate in good management by sharing ideas on improving productivity and the services offered by the state.  The DOC suggestions were calculated to save over $4 M and the employees received a total of $5,200.

  LLCC Receives ‘Above and Beyond’ Award

Jim Papovich from the National Committee for “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) visited Luther Luckett Correctional Complex on June 10, 2013 in order to present the “Above and Beyond” award to the facility. Warden Greg Howard accepted the award on behalf of the institution. The National Committee ESGR recognized LLCC for its commitment to go above and beyond in its support of employees who serve in Guard and Reserve units.  In addition to the ‘Above and Beyond’ Award, LLCC also received “Pro Patria” Awards from EGSR. Those awards also recognize LLCC’s support of its military employees. Accepting those awards were: (L-R) Lieutenant Mark Wasson, Captain Lindsay Dowden, Jim Papovich, Warden Greg Howard, and Deputy Warden Phillip Bramblett.

Employees Complete Public Health Leadership Institute

DOC Health Services Administrator Cookie Crews, Dr. Deborah Coleman and Dr. Russ Williams are pictured above after completing the Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. The goal of KPHLI is to strengthen the public health system in Kentucky by improving the skills of the professionals who administer state, regional and local public health systems. In order to graduate, participates had to complete two book reports on leadership, Individual Development Plans, and Change Master Projects. The class also took the Change Style Indicator, 360 Degree Feedback and Emergenetic Baron EQ-I Assessment test.The DOC group chose as their Change Master Project to develop a training manual on how to manage inmates diagnosed with Dementia. The group called themselves the “Dementia Militia.”

Commissioner Thompson Honored by EKU  

Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Justice and Safety recently held its annual “Night of Distinguished Professionals” and recognized the achievements of two justice and safety practitioners, including our own commissioner, LaDonna H. Thompson. Thompson was presented with the Dean’s Award. This honor is presented to an individual in recognition of “Lifetime Achievement and Meritorious Service in Corrections.” Thompson is pictured at left receiving the award from EKU College of Justice and Safety Dean Allen Ault.

State CERT Commander, LLCC Warden Howard Honored

Luther Luckett Correctional Complex CERT Commander Daniel King and Internal Affairs Officer Lt. Mark Wasson recently recognized longtime state CERT Commander and LLCC Warden Greg Howard. The award recognized 20+ years of commitment to CERT. “He is a dedicated and hands on leader,” said King. “As my Shift Captain he was not afraid to get down in the trenches with the rest of the team to teach staff the correct way to handle situations. Warden Howard is a true inspiration within Luther Luckett Correctional Complex and a true asset to the Department of Corrections. His leadership and experience will lead CERT teams statewide to face any task.” Deputy Commissioner James Erwin and Commissioner LaDonna Thompson were invited to present the award to Howard.

DOC’s Johnathan Hall Recognized As Top Junior Computer Science Major

Johnathan Hall, Adminstrative Coordinator for the department’s Offender Information and Information Technogy branches was recently honored at the Kentucky State University 50th Annual Honors Convocation. Hall was recognized as the university’s top Computer Science Outstanding Junior Student.

DOC Participates in Crisis Negotiation Training

Department of Corrections employees from across the state took part in Crisis Negotiation Training by either serving as facilitators or participating in the training. The training, conducted by FBI Special Agent Lori Greenwell, was held at the new Kentucky State Police (KSP) Academy, formerly the Frankfort Career Development Center.  The attendees included employees from the FBI, KSP and three employees from the DOC; Emily Schofield, Pam Clayton and Bruce Snider. The remaining DOC employees served as facilitators and assisted by working alongside FBI staff with the training.  The DOC facilitators served in oversight roles during day four of the five-day training, providing guidance and evaluation to several trainee teams during live scenario situations. The DOC currently has 79 staff who are trained Crisis Negotiators throughout all of the Adult Institutions.

CAP Participants Recognized

Probation and Parole staff who participated in the recent CAP operation in Jefferson County were recognized by Commissioner LaDonna Thompson recently and presented with a Certificate of Excellence. Officers participating in each CAP operation will receive the recognition and certificates. Pictured above, front row (L-R) Eric Staples, Connie Roach, Lisa Gilkey, John Sutton; second row (L-R) Michael Rach, Matt Hayes, Jay Bell, Commissioner Ladonna Thompson; back row (L-R) Keith Link, Derek Meeks, Griffin Brown, Chris Mull, John Madeya and Jimmy Henderson. Not pictured but involved in the Jefferson County operation were: Jonathan Parker, Brian Patterson, Mike Mitchell, Rob Storey, Derek Jeffers, Will Kline, Tim Walker, Danielle Smith, and Robert Taylor.

APEX Training Comes to Department of Corrections

The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salato Education Center provided a serene location for intensive two-day work sessions attended by 58 staff from Central Office, Probation & Parole and institutions the week of December 10-13. Commissioner Thompson and Deputy Commissioners Jim Erwin and Paula Holden warmly welcomed NIC-sponsored trainers Nancy Cebula and Theresa Lantz to guide two teams as they practiced the principals of the Achieving Performance Excellence (APEX) initiative. APEX is a business model that offers a systems approach to change specifically for correctional organizations. It provides multiple tools and strategies to build sustainable capacity toward higher performance, evidence-based practices, and data-driven decision making. Safety and security is one of the foundational principles of APEX. Above: APEX trainers and DOC facilitators: (L to R) Ruth Edwards, Cyndi Heddleston, Nancy Cebula, Tiffany Ratliff, Theresa Lantz and Danny Norris. Below: Those attending the APEX training were divided into break-out groups to work on projects. Projects included: Newly-adopted PREA standards - looking at the mandate and developing recommendations that will form the foundation of DOC’s compliance effort; and the current process for releasing inmates from institutions and jails - developing recommendations to eliminate any lag time so offenders are released as soon as they are eligible.


Commissioners’ Roundtable Focuses on DOC History

On October 24, 2012 Bell County Forestry Camp (BCFC) celebrated the prison’s 50th anniversary. Among the attendees were current and former BCFC staff, Division of Forestry officials, local and state government representatives and several DOC Central Office staff. The event was a huge success and began with a program during which guest speakers talked about the importance of BCFC to the community and included a tribute to deceased BCFC employees. Speakers were Warden Kathy Litteral, Deputy Commissioner Jim Erwin, Division of Forestry Director Leah MacSwords, Bell County Judge-Executive Alby Brock and Kentucky State Representative Rick Nelson.

Bell County Forestry Camp Celebrates 50 years

Commissioner LaDonna Thompson invited all previous DOC commissioners to a roundtable discussion on November 2nd. There are currently only four previous commissioners living: Doug Sapp, Tom Campbell, Vertner Taylor and John Rees. Bringing this group together was something Commissioner Thompson had wanted to do since being appointed in 2008. Her goal was to have the group collectively discuss issues faced during their individual terms as commissioner, and to share their solutions. All four previous commissioners graciously accepted her invitation. The group gathered at Spindletop in Lexington and had a very productive and interesting meeting. "I believe a great deal can be learned from the past,” said Thompson. “So many of the issues we face today are the same or very similar to ones faced by our former commissioners. It was very informative for me and I believe the discussion will be valuable to the Department’s future leaders as well.” Above: The four previous commissioners that attended the Roudtable are pictured (left to right) with Commissioner Thompson: Doug Sapp, John Rees, Commissioner LaDonna Thompson, Vertner Taylor and Tom Campbell.

2012 Governor’s Ambassador Awards Presented
                     DOC staff receive two awards


Jessica Durrett Department of Corrections Justice & Public Safety Cabinet  

Living in a community where more than 60% of the elementary school children participate in the free and reduced lunch program, Jessica succeeded in bringing seven local churches together to create a weekend backpack food program. The Hands that Serve Hearts that Care program currently serves 95 students and is expanding to new schools within the district. The goal of the program is to insure that children in Henry County do not go hungry.





Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex Staff Department of Corrections Justice & Public Safety Cabinet  

The Eastern KY Correctional Complex staff went above and beyond to maintain 24-hour operations during the aftermath of the March tornado that stuck West Liberty and Morgan County. Most all staff suffered some level of damage to their personal property, yet they reported to work as normal, and volunteered to help other co-workers who experienced major damage or completely lost their homes.

Although the institution lost electricity for an extended period of time, the inmates’ needs were met without incident, and circumstances were well-managed. Employees assisted in emergency operations of the city, participated in search and rescue teams, assisted with the Emergency Management Team, volunteered at donation centers, and assisted with cleanup and rebuilding efforts throughout Morgan County. Their dedication to the institution and the community was priceless.





CERT Team PIN Presentations


CERT Teams Presented with NTC Lapel Pins  

Commissioner LaDonna Thompson presented commemorative lapel pins to CERT team members from EKCC, LSCC, KSR, LLCC and RCC. The pins were in recognition of their outstanding service during the Northpoint Training Center disturbance in 2009.

List of Recipients  [PDF, 68KB]


CERT team Photo Gallery






2012 Awards


Department of Corrections Presents Awards
Friday, July 20, 2012
The Kentucky Department of Corrections this week honored Sister Dorothy Schuette, O.S.B., with the 2012 Lucille Hurt Robuck “Commitment to Corrections” Award. The award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the field of corrections during the past year and is named in honor of a woman who dedicated her life to the criminal justice field, Lucille Hurt Robuck.

2012 Award Winners  [PDF, 119KB] 


  DOC Annual Awards Photo Gallery

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