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For new VCCW warden, role offers chance to help women

For new VCCW warden, role offers chance to help women

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TyKeshae Fowlkes got an unexpected surprise for Christmas this year – the exciting news that she would be returning to Virginia Correctional Center for Women (VCCW) in Goochland to serve as the new warden of the facility.

“I have always loved VCCW. It is such a beautiful place and I enjoy being able to walk the grounds throughout the day as part of my job,” Fowlkes explained. She added that one area of focus will be providing inmates opportunities for growth and education to prepare them for release. Warden Fowlkes began her career with the Department of Corrections in 1995, working as a part-time secretary while taking classes in computer information systems.

“I came for a part-time job and found a very rewarding career,” said Fowlkes.

A keen sense of curiosity has always made her want to learn more, so she learned everything she could and worked hard, earning promotions along the way. She thrived on the variety that came with the job. No two days were ever the same, whether she was involved in administration, security or grievance management. Fowlkes has worked in men’s and women’s minimum and maximum security facilities throughout Virginia, including death row. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new job in Goochland.

So, how does the Warden spend her time when she isn’t working?

“My garden is my sanctuary,” Fowlkes said. “I work outside every day from early spring to late fall.”

She laughed when she explained that she often rescues plants from the sale bin and loves bringing them back to life.

Contributed by Donna Cottingham, Board Member, The Elizabeth Kates Foundation

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