Department of Corrections
Phil Parker Named Warden of Kentucky State Penitentiary
Frankfort, Ky. (October 13, 2009) – The longest-serving warden at the state’s only maximum security prison will return to the post this week. Philip W. Parker, a 25-year veteran of the corrections profession, has been appointed warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP).
Parker retired on Aug. 1, 2002 after serving nine years in the warden’s job at KSP. He also began his career at the prison, first as a Correctional Officer in 1978. He quickly worked his way up through the ranks, and within six years, was promoted to Deputy Warden at Northpoint Training Center. Four years later he returned to work at Eddyville as Deputy Warden of Security after a mass escape.
In 1989, Parker transferred to Ohio where he served as warden of a new prison in the suburbs of Cleveland. He was then appointed to the position of Deputy Director in charge of 11 prisons in the southern region of Ohio in 1992.
He returned to his home state and was named warden of KSP in 1993.
“I am very pleased to announce the return of Warden Phil Parker to the Kentucky State Penitentiary,” said Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson. “I had the pleasure of working with Warden Parker for many years and he has always proven to be an effective leader, an insightful decision maker, and an example of Correctional professionalism. The Penitentiary is a very challenging institution and requires experienced leadership. Warden Parker previously demonstrated he was able to meet the challenge and he is fortunate to return at a time when he has excellent Deputies and institutional staff to work with him during his transition back to the Department.”
During his time as warden at KSP, Parker led the institution through two executions: the execution of Harold McQueen in 1997, the first in Kentucky in 35 years, and in 1999 he was at the helm of the prison for the state’s first by lethal injection, Edward Lee Harper. Parker was hailed during these challenging times for his effective, calm and level-headed direction of the prison.
Parker is a native of Western Kentucky and a graduate of Murray State University.