Metro Corrections Director Dwayne Clark to retire
Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) Director Dwayne Clark today notified Mayor Greg Fischer of his decision to retire next month; Clark will work to make the transition smooth for employees and inmates.
“When Dwayne agreed to take on this critical job in 2019, the city and nation were yet to learn about the impending global pandemic that would lead to historic shocks and strains to jails across the nation,” said the Mayor. “Dwayne has led his team through this once-in-a-generation pandemic, which brought health and safety challenges and historic vacancies to the public safety sector. He rose to this historic moment by putting numerous reforms in place to improve the conditions of the jail for our inmate population and for our dedicated Metro Corrections employees.”
Clark previously served as LMDC’s chief of staff from 2009 through February 2019. He had joined the LMDC in July 2004 as Deputy Director, after moving here from Illinois, where he worked for the state Department of Corrections for nearly 25 years.
“Through 42 years as a corrections professional my greatest honor has been to serve the people of Louisville and to work hand-in-hand with the dedicated employees of Louisville Metro Department of Corrections,” said Clark. “My deepest thanks goes to those employees for enhancing public safety with their commitment to caring for our incarcerated population, while facing incredibly difficult circumstances.”
Under Clark’s leadership, the jail maintained its status as the only jail in Kentucky to achieve accreditation from the American Correctional Association, the inmate population has decreased to the lowest rate it’s been in recent years, and comprehensive steps have been taken to improve inmate medical care, including an enhanced contract with the jail’s medical provider Wellpath and an independent review of its suicide risk assessment tools.
This year, Clark worked closely with the Corrections FOP to reach an agreement for an increase in new recruit starting salaries, raises for Corrections officers and steps to improve accountability for Corrections employees, similar to some of those seen the LMPD contract. And, over the past two years, Clark and his team have taken proactive measures to keep inmates safe from COVID-19 by offering full access to vaccines and regular testing while in custody. Thousands of inmates have taken advantage of the vaccine clinics offered at LMDC.
Clark also has developed programs for reentry dorms to phase inmates back into the community and brought back important services to the inmates in custody, despite the pressures of COVID and staffing.
“Dwayne Clark has been a mentor to hundreds of corrections professionals over the years, and in his tenure has planted the seeds of growth for both his officers and the inmates they serve,” said the Mayor. “His years of service will continue to bear fruit in the community that he cares so deeply about.”
A successor will be announced before Dir. Clark’s departure.