Department of Corrections
Federal Prison Warden to Lead Little Sandy
FRANKFORT, Ky. – A federal prison warden with 28 years of experience will lead Kentucky’s newest prison. Joseph P. Meko, will retire from his position as associate warden at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, and assume the warden’s post at Little Sandy Correctional Complex on Sept. 3.
Little Sandy’s current warden, Gary Beckstrom, announced his retirement earlier this month and will leave the Kentucky Department of Corrections with exactly 30 years of service. Beckstrom is the only individual to serve as warden of the prison that opened its doors on July 7, 2005. The prison was recently accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and received a 100 percent score from auditors.
“Joseph Meko brings all the right skills to the table for this job,” said Corrections Commissioner John D. Rees. “We needed someone with a vast amount of institutional knowledge and the right type of management style to run Little Sandy - Meko has both. Plus, he has the added advantage of being familiar with the area, after spending the last 10 years in eastern Kentucky.”
Meko began his career as a correctional officer at the Federal Correctional Institution in Petersburg, Va. He worked his way up through the ranks, working as a unit manager, assistant to the warden, and associate warden at prisons in California, West Virginia,, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Ashland and Lexington. He has also served as an adjunct law professor at Ashland Community College where he taught corrections and criminal justice classes.
A resident of Russell, Ky., Meko received his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Gannon University in Erie, Pa. He is a member of the American Correctional Association, the Knights of Columbus, and the Tri-State Law Enforcement Council. Meko is very involved in community activities, his four children are still in Kentucky schools and he currently serves as a member of the School Board for the Catholic Diocese of Lexington. He is a former assistant soccer coach for Russell High School as well as past president of the Holy Family Church Parish Council in Ashland, Ky.