Incoming Governor Names New Arkansas Prisons Chief

Jan 5, 2015

Wendy Kelly
Credit ADC

Incoming Gov. Asa Hutchinson has named a chief deputy of the Arkansas Department of Correction as the new head of the state's prison system.

Hutchinson on Monday announced that Wendy Kelley would serve as the department's director after Hutchinson takes office. Hutchinson is set to be sworn in as governor on Jan. 13.

Kelley is currently the department's chief deputy director, a post she has held since January 2014. Previously, she served as the deputy director for health and correctional programs from 2006 and 2013. She is replacing interim Director Larry Norris.

Kelley takes over the department as lawmakers are expected to face requests to ease overcrowding of state inmates in local jails around the state. Correction officials have said a new 1,000-bed prison is needed to ease the overcrowding.