Southeast State Correctional Complex

Coordinates: 37°20′23″N 82°43′01″W / 37.33972°N 82.71694°W / 37.33972; -82.71694
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Southeast State Correctional Complex
Southeast State Correctional Complex is located in Kentucky
Southeast State Correctional Complex
Location326 Correctional Drive
Wheelwright, Kentucky
Coordinates37°20′24″N 82°43′04″W / 37.340059°N 82.717761°W / 37.340059; -82.717761
Security classmedium
reopened 2020
Former nameOtter Creek Correctional Center
Managed byKentucky Department of Corrections
DirectorCraig Hughes

Southeast State Correctional Complex, formerly the Otter Creek Correctional Center, is a medium-security prison located in Wheelwright, Kentucky.[1] The facility is owned by CoreCivic and is operated by the Kentucky Department of Corrections. The prison has housed both male and female inmates at different times, from Kentucky and from Hawaii.[2] The prison opened in 1981.[3]

In 2008, a secretarial employee of the center fatally shot herself in the office of then-warden Joyce Arnold, raising questions about how the weapon had been smuggled in past security.[4] Amid other allegations of mismanagement and poor medical care,[5] Hawaii removed its 168 female inmates from Otter Creek beginning in 2009 over multiple charges of sexual abuse.[6]

Kentucky removed its state inmates from Otter Creek in 2012.[7] The facility remained vacant from 2012 until 2020.[8]

On October 18, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announced that the Commonwealth of Kentucky would enter into a ten-year agreement with CoreCivic to lease and reopen the facility. The prison, which was renamed the Southeast State Correctional Complex, will be operated and staffed by the Kentucky Department of Corrections and will be managed under the same rules and procedures as state owned prisons. In May 2020, Bevin's successor, Andy Beshear, announced that the prison would reopen in September 2020. The facility officially reopened under state management in September 2022 housing male inmates.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Southeast State Correctional Complex". Kentucky Department of Corrections. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  2. ^ "Otter Creek Correctional Center". Corrections Corporation of America. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  3. ^ "Rural Ky. town readies for private prison closure". Fox News. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  4. ^ "Behind the Bars | Secretary Carla Meade's suicide raised questions | the Courier-Journal |". Archived from the original on 6 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Behind the Bars | Prison faced regular complaints about medical care | the Courier-Journal |". Archived from the original on 6 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  6. ^ Ian Urbina (2009-08-25). "Hawaii to Remove Inmates Over Abuse Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  7. ^ "Kentucky to walk away from last private prison, contract with CCA". Nashville City Paper. 2013-06-25. Archived from the original on 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  8. ^ "CCA". CCA. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  9. ^ Prison to open in Floyd County, creating nearly 200 new jobs.
  10. ^ Gov. Beshear Announces Plan to Open Southeast State Correctional Complex in Wheelwright

External links[edit]

37°20′23″N 82°43′01″W / 37.33972°N 82.71694°W / 37.33972; -82.71694