The original cell house in Frankfort contained 648 single-occupancy cells measuring only 7 x 3.10 x 7 feet (2.1 m) on six tiers. In the 1870s, a second cell house was built. This cell house contained 408 cells that were slightly larger than those in the original cell house, measuring 7 x 4.10 x 7 feet (2.1 m). These larger rooms contained a double-deck bunk for two inmates. None of the cells had plumbing.
The prison in Frankfort housed a small population of female inmates. They lived alongside the prison in a separate cell house.Inmates at the Kentucky State Reformatory labored in workshops during the day. The Reformatory had contracts with the Frankfort Chair Company and other companies.
Ephraim Thomas Lillard (23 Jun 1847 Kentucky - 6 Apr 1921 Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois) was warden at Frankfort Reformatory (Kentucky State Pen.). A native of Jessamine Co., KY, he enlisted in the Confederate Army at age 15, serving in the 5th KY Cavalry. He was with General Robert E. Lee at the surrender at Appomattox. Ephraim represented Jessamine Co. in the KY legislature.
His daughter Lucille Lee Lillard (23 Oct 1878 Kentucky - 6 Dec 1954 Chicago, Cooke Co., Illinois) married Joseph Robinson Newton.