News today from state Board of Corrections:



PINE BLUFF – Department of Corrections Secretary Wendy Kelley announced today during an Arkansas Board of Corrections meeting in Pine Bluff that she will be retiring at the end of July.


“It has been my honor to serve this Department because of you,” she wrote in an email to the Department’s staff on Monday afternoon. “I have been so blessed to work with you all! … Modeling a positive work ethic, positive communication skills, encouraging offenders to think about the legacy they are creating, and treating everyone with respect are what I have enjoyed watching you all do.”


Secretary Kelley served as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Correction from January 2015 until July 2019, when Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed her Secretary.


“She’s done a superb job,” said Benny Magness, chairman of the Arkansas Board of Corrections. “She’s been a solid rock. She’s been really, really good for the state of Arkansas as the first Secretary of Corrections under the new format. She will be hard to replace, but we respect her desire to spend more time with her family.”

Secretary Kelley joined the Department of Correction in February 2006 as Deputy Director of Health and Correctional Programs. Before that, she served for 14 years as Deputy Attorney General of the civil department at the Arkansas Attorney General’s office


Secretary Kelley graduated from the William H. Bowen School of Law in 1987.  She and her husband have four children and all grandsons.