Department of Corrections

Wendy Kelley
Cabinet Secretary
Department of Corrections

Wendy Kelley has served as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Corrections since January 2015 after serving one year as the department’s chief deputy.  


Kelley began at the department as Deputy Director for Health and Correctional Programs in February 2006. Prior to joining the department, she served as the Deputy Attorney General for the civil department after joining the Attorney General’s office in May 1992. 


Kelley graduated from the William H. Bowen School of Law in 1987. She is the chair of the American Correctional Association’s Performance Based Standards Committee, and a member of the Association of State Correctional Administrators.


Kelley and her husband have four children, and she is the grandmother of all boys.

Welcome to the Arkansas Department of Corrections! The Department is comprised of over 6,000 dedicated employees within the following:


• The Division of Correction (formerly the Arkansas Department of Correction);

• The Division of Community Correction (formerly Arkansas Department of Community Correction);

• The Corrections School System (Arkansas Correctional School District and Riverside Vocational Technical School);

• The Office of the Criminal Detention Facility Review Coordinator; along with the 

• Administrative functions of the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committees;

• Administrative functions of the Parole Board;

• Administrative functions of the Sentencing Commission; and

• Administrative functions of the State Council for the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision.


We have so many staff that are knowledgeable and talented working and serving our state! They are doing this work because they believe in public safety! Our shared goal is to continue to have a service-minded culture, and by working as one Department, to strengthen our ability to be a science-driven/data-driven team dedicated to continuous improvement. We are in the people business which makes this work difficult and, at times, unpredictable!  


To the best of our ability, we prepare those in our custody and under our supervision to be productive and law abiding citizens. That starts by setting a professional example every day and remaining fair, firm, and consistent in following our policies. Our policies are based on national standards and implemented with safety and security in mind. Being data-driven in our decision making, policies, and practices will improve the success of our mission.


Sincerely,


Wendy Kelley

Secretary

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