Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women

Coordinates: 38°17′09″N 85°27′26″W / 38.28583°N 85.45722°W / 38.28583; -85.45722
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Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women
Location3000 Ash Avenue
Pewee Valley, Kentucky
Security classmixed
Managed byKentucky Department of Corrections

Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW) is a prison located in unincorporated Shelby County, Kentucky, near Pewee Valley, Kentucky, operated by the Kentucky Department of Corrections.[1] Male and female inmates prior to 1937 had been housed at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort (1912 name changed Kentucky State Reformatory in Frankfort.)

Pine Bluff Prison Farm[edit]

A home for girls had been established in Shelby County, Kentucky by an Act 1916 in Pine Bluff, Kentucky It was maintained by the State.[2] After WWI lack of funding caused the project to be abandoned. This facility had been established by the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs. The State named this facility the Pine Bluff Prison Farm and the dedication was held November 4, 1938. Beginning of construction: November 1937 saw work starting on Kentucky's first prison for women at Pine Bluff on the 280-acre tract that had been deeded to the State by the Federation of Women's Clubs of Kentucky. The buildings also included an infirmary and administration building. Since the January flood there was approximately 100 women convicts quartered in an old school building in Frankfort. The new prison would provide instruction in arts, crafts, needlework and domestic science.[3]

End of November 1937 – Work started on new Kentucky State women's prison to cost $130,000.[4]


Pine Bluff and Kentucky Correctional Institution of Women
Superintendents & Wardens In Office Title Additional Information
Fanniebelle Sutherland[5][6][7] 1938 Superintendent A former Police Judge, Appointed by Gov. A.B."Happy" Chandler
Mrs. Ethel Penn Hannin Superintendent
Lonnie Rowena Watson (1902–1989) Superintendent
Gail S. Huecker 1963 Superintendent
Betty Greenwell [8] 1968 Superintendent At age 26, Betty Greenwell may have been the youngest women prison warden in the US.
Doris Deuth 1999-2006 Warden
Cookie Crews 2006 Warden
Janet Conover Warden
Vanessa Kennedy Warden


Legislation to change name[edit]

H.B. 367 – E. G. Brown. Amending K.R.S. 197.010 to define "penitentiaries" to include the State penal institutions for males at Eddyville and LaGrange, the institution for women located in Shelby County, together with the branches thereof and any other similar institutions hereafter established: changing the name of the institution for women to "The Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women"; requiring a female superintendent be appointed and listing required qualifications.[9]

The name of Kentucky's female prison officially changed June 18, 1964.[10] Prior to that date it had been a branch of the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange, Kentucky.[11]


1983 The third Kentucky prison to receive accreditation by the American Correctional Association standards.[12]

August 16, 2005
Otter Creek Correctional Complex in Wheelwright, Kentucky a private prison was leased[13] by the state to help with the overcrowding conditions of the Kentucky Correctional Institution of Kentucky in Peewee Valley, Kentucky.

Until the 2010 conversion of the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex into a women's prison, KCIW was the only state owned and operated women's prison in Kentucky. The prison continues to house all levels of inmates including all female death row inmates. It opened in 1938 and had a prison population of 721 as of 2007.

Sexual misconduct[edit]

There have been several reports and convictions of correctional officers in the prison sexually abusing and assaulting inmates, including James Johnson, Demar Jones, and Shane Fisher.[14][15] The institute has more male employees than females.[16][17]

Female correctional officers have also reports harassment by male coworkers.[16] Corrections employees make up about 15% of all Kentucky state employees, but they make nearly 50% of all state sexual harassment complaints.[16][18][19]

Notable inmates[edit]

  • Amy Bosley – Sentenced to 20 years in prison in Kentucky for the murder of her husband on May 17, 2005.
  • Virginia Caudill – Caudill was convicted of the 1998 death of a 73-year-old female and sentenced to death. She is currently the only woman in Kentucky who awaits execution.[20]
  • LaFonda Faye Foster – Convicted of killing several people in Lexington on a spree one night. Sentenced to death, but this sentence was overturned to life without parole.
  • Shayna Hubers – Convicted of murdering her boyfriend Ryan Poston.[21]
  • Tina Powell – Convicted of murders in Lexington, sentenced to life.
  • Amanda Mikesell – Convicted of killing abusive boyfriend and then running over another ex-paramour for raping her in Louisville Ky. Was the first woman to get partial insanity plea only doing 11 years for the double manslaughter.[2009]


  1. ^ "Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women." Kentucky Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 8, 2010.
  2. ^ Kavanaugh, Frank K. (1920). Kentucky Directory for the Use of the Courts. Frankfort, KY: State Journal Company. p. 155. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  3. ^ The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY 18 Nov 1937 p10 Work Started on Women's State Prison
  4. ^ News-Democrat and Leader, Russellville, KY 2 Dec 1937 p9 No title
  5. ^ The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY 25 Oct 1938 p1 photo Club Woman, Named Prison Head, May Install Beautician At Pine Bluff
  6. ^ The Messenger, Owensboro, KY 26 Oct 1938 p9 Appointments by Gov. Chandler
  7. ^ Scott, Jeanine and Berkeley (2001). Bourbon County: 1860-1940. Bourbon Co. Kentucky: Arcadia Publishing. p. 119. ISBN 9780738506852. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  8. ^ The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY 1 Nov 1968 Superintendent of Women's Prison Named
  9. ^ The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY 29 Feb 1964 p8 New Legislation in Assembly.
  10. ^ Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, KY 18 Jun 1964 p17 Get New Names
  11. ^ The Paducah Sun, Paducah, KY 12 Jun 1964 p2 More prisoners
  12. ^ The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY 12 Feb 1983 p3 Kentucky women's prison gets high marks from national group
  13. ^ The Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY 2 Aug 2005
  14. ^ Mayfield, Colin (2014-10-20). "Former prison guard to serve no time for sexually assaulting inmates". WLKY. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  15. ^ "Corrections officer accused of sexual misconduct with inmate". WHAS11. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  16. ^ a b c Klibanoff, Eleanor (2018-06-27). "Kentucky's Female Corrections Officers Say Sexual Harassment Is Part Of The Job". 89.3 WFPL News Louisville. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  17. ^ "Louisville man accused of sexually abusing inmate while acting as a state corrections officer". 11 June 2021.
  18. ^ "'Lack Of Good Behavior'? Kentucky Government's Inconsistent Response To Sexual Harassment". Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. 2018-03-05. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  19. ^ staff, KyCIR (2018-06-27). "KyCIR Amplify: Jennifer Lynn Dennis, Former Prison Guard". Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  20. ^ "Lexington murderer Virginia Caudill shown on "Deadly Women" | Lexington Herald Leader". Archived from the original on 2019-10-22.
  21. ^ "Offender Information - Kentucky Department of Corrections - Offender Online Lookup System". Archived from the original on 2019-06-08.

External links[edit]

38°17′09″N 85°27′26″W / 38.28583°N 85.45722°W / 38.28583; -85.45722