There’s a new warden in town

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By The Staff

The state’s largest prison and the county’s second-largest employer has a new warden. 

Cookie Crews has been promoted to warden of Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange.

Kentucky Department of Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson announced the promotion Monday. 

Crews has now served as warden at four prisons in the state. Most recently, she served as warden at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women.

Thompson said Crews has the leadership ability needed to “handle the complexities of what is not only the state’s largest prison, but also the facility that houses some of the most challenging inmates, those with severe medical and mental health needs.”

Crews has demonstrated her ability at each prison she has led, Thompson said.

“To each of these positions, she has brought her fresh energy and spirit and innovative ideas, all of which are key factors to her success and to the success of the institutions,” she said.

A native of the small town of Hardy in Pike County, Crews began her Corrections career in January 1984 as a correctional officer at KCIW and in September of the following year was promoted to sergeant. She was then promoted to the position of classification and treatment officer at KSR in 1987 and served in that same position at the Roederer Correctional Complex the next year.

Crews was then promoted to correctional unit administrator I at KSR and in 1998 was promoted again to unit administrator II at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex. In 2002 she was again promoted, this time to the position of deputy warden III at LLCC. Her service career includes a seven-month stint as acting warden at LLCC. In September 2004, she was promoted to warden of the Frankfort Career Development Center and held that position until being named acting warden at KCIW in May of 2006. A month later she was promoted to the warden’s post.

Crews is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a major in Corrections and public relations. She is a member of the Southern States Correctional Association  and the Kentucky Council on Crime and Delinquency. 

Her interests include reading and music and she is a member of the fourth-time International Champions, Derby City Chorus. 

She is also a member of the Pleasant Glove Baptist Church in Middletown.


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