FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 6, 2012) — In 2009, Philip W. Parker returned to a post he already had served in for nine years: warden of Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). Now, after two-and-a-half additional years at the helm of the state’s only maximum-security prison, he will return to retirement beginning June 1.
Randy White, the warden at Green River Correctional Complex, will assume the reins at KSP next week. White, a decorated war hero who received the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in combat, is a 16-year veteran of the department. He has held positions at five Kentucky prisons, including a three-year stint as deputy warden at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex.
“Phil Parker returned at a critical juncture for the Department and he provided the experience and skilled, demonstrated leadership necessary for the institution,” said Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson. “He was named Warden of the Year in 2011 and has once again demonstrated his caliber of leadership. We wish he would stay longer, but we certainly appreciate the time he has given us.”
Parker retired in August 2002 after nine years as KSP warden. 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.
After a mass escape from KSP in 1988, Parker returned to work at the prison as deputy warden of security. His experience also includes four years in Ohio, where he first served as warden of a new prison in the suburbs of Cleveland and then deputy director in charge of 11 prisons in the southern region of Ohio. Parker returned to his home state in 1993 and was named warden of KSP. He is one of the longest serving wardens of the institution.
White began his career as a correctional officer at Northpoint Training Center in 1996. He transferred to Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex in 1997 and was promoted to classification and treatment officer at Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW) later that same year. White was then promoted to correctional unit administrator I at KCIW in 1998 and again to correctional unit administrator II in 1999.
In October 2004, White was mobilized with the Kentucky Army National Guard and was assigned to conduct combat patrols and convoy escorts in and around Baghdad, Iraq. He also was assigned to conduct mentoring and joint combat operations with two separate companies of the Iraqi Highway Patrol during the latter half of 2005. It was on one of those missions with the Iraqi Highway Patrol that White earned his Purple Heart.
The vehicle they were riding in was destroyed by a roadside bomb (IED) and everyone was knocked unconscious as the vehicle careened off the road and into a canal. White also received the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal for his service during his deployment.
Upon return to work from military service in 2006, White served as the accreditation manager at KCIW through the 2006 ACA Accreditation Audit, and as a unit administrator II. On October 1, 2006 White was promoted to deputy warden III at LLCC supervising programs and security at the prison. He was promoted to warden at Green River Correctional Complex in 2009.
“Randy White is without question the right individual for the challenging job of warden at KSP,” Thompson said. “He will not only bring the talent, professionalism and leadership necessary to handle the role, but his impeccable integrity as well.”
White is a 1994 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University where he received his bachelor’s degree in corrections/juvenile services and police administration. He was the 2002 KCIW Employee of the year, a 2006 recipient of a Commissioner’s Award for the Department of Corrections, and he also completed the Department of Corrections’ Commissioner’s Executive Leadership Program in 2007.
A native of Wolfe County, White and his wife Susan are the parents of two children, Daniel and Lauren.