Clark Taylor, warden of the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR) in LaGrange, the state’s largest prison, has announced his retirement effective Aug. 1. Aaron Smith, acting deputy warden at KSR, will take over the reins from Taylor. Smith will serve in the role effective May 1.

Taylor is a 26-year veteran of the Kentucky Department of Corrections and has served as warden at three prisons. He has been warden at KSR since June 2012. He served as warden at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex from 2009 to 2012, and also served as acting warden at Bell County Forestry Camp. His career also includes a stint of almost five years as deputy warden at KSR. He began his career as a correctional officer in 1988 and rose through the ranks of the department to the warden’s post. He held numerous positions including classification and treatment officer, accreditation manager, and contract branch manager at Central Office.
A native of Bell County, Taylor is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.

“Clark Taylor’s retirement is very bittersweet news for the department,” said Corrections Commissioner LaDonna H. Thompson. “We are happy for him as he enters this next phase of his life, but we will miss him and the caliber of leadership he has brought to the department.”

Smith is a 22-year veteran of DOC and he also rose through the ranks after beginning his career as a probation and parole officer in Jefferson County.

“Aaron Smith is one of the most dedicated corrections professionals in the business, and we are pleased to be able to offer him this opportunity,” said Commissioner Thompson. “He has an incredible work ethic and the skill set necessary to manage the complexities of the state’s largest prison that also houses the inmates with severe medical and mental health needs.”

Prior to coming to DOC, Smith worked for five years with the Cabinet for Human Resources (currently the Cabinet for Health and Family Services), in the Child Protective Services Department.
In 1996, Smith transferred to KSR as a classification and treatment officer. He has held the positions of institutional parole officer at two prisons, unit administrator, deputy warden at Roederer Correctional Complex, and branch manager for Adult Institutions.

A native and lifelong resident of Oldham County, Smith is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he attended on an athletic scholarship.



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