A state employee with 30 years of public safety experience has been named the new director of Lexington’s Division of Community Corrections. The selection of Rodney Ballard was announced Tuesday morning. He currently serves as a Deputy Commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Corrections and previously worked at a jail in northern Kentucky and for state police.
Ballard says he’s eager to get to know corrections officers and build on improvements being made at the jail.
“It’ll be a day to day process. I will tell you this: I don’t live in an office. If they’re not used to seeing command staff inside the housing units, they’ll start seeing that first thing when I show up. It’ll take time, but I’ll do my best to meet each and every one of them.”
The Lexington Division of Community Corrections has been troubled in recent years with low employee morale, running over budget, and being the subject of several lawsuits.
Ballard replaces interim jail director Ray Sabbatine, who was appointed by the mayor following the retirement of Ron Bishop last August.
Ballard says he plans to start work on March 15 and submit a plan of action to the city within 45 days on the job. His appointment must first be approved by the Urban County Council.