Jennifer Walsh Named Warden at Columbus Correctional Institution

Raleigh

The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice has named Jennifer Walsh as warden of the Columbus Correctional Institution in Whiteville. She had served as associate warden for custody and operations at the prison since 2010.

“Warden Walsh is an experienced prison administrator with decades of hands-on knowledge,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee. “She is an excellent addition to our amazing team of prison leaders who work so hard to protect the staff, offenders and our communities.”

As warden, Walsh is responsible for all operations at the male medium custody facility that dates back to the 1930s, including custody for up to 700 offenders, programming, food service, fiscal operations and staff training.

Southeastern Community College provides the offenders with academic and vocational classes, including brick masonry, commercial cleaning, computer repair and computer language skills. A variety of self-improvement programs are offered at the prison to prepare offenders to take the high-school equivalency exam and to teach valuable skills and work ethics.

A 29-year veteran with the Department of Public Safety, Walsh began her career in 1991 as a correctional officer at the prison. She progressed through the ranks and was promoted to sergeant in 1995, lieutenant in 1997, captain in 2001 and then to associate warden.

In fact, her entire career has been spent at the prison, giving her exceptional insight into its operations as she takes over as the first female to lead the facility.

A native of Columbus County, Walsh is a graduate of the DPS Correctional Leadership Development Program and Peak Performance training. She earned specialized training as a general and master instructor and has received training in prevention of unlawful workplace harassment, electronic intrusion systems, equal employment opportunity, and interaction management.

She was a member of the Hostage Negotiation Team from 1998 to 2002.

"I have the best employees who take pride in their profession,” Walsh said. “We are more than just coworkers, we are family. I am thankful for them every day."

She said her goals are to recruit and retain a high-quality staff to operate a clean, safe and secure environment while ensuring the needs of the offender population are met. She aims to be innovative, use technology to manage offenders, control contraband and to help staff do the best job they can do to keep the public, offenders and each other safe. 

Her hobbies include spending time with her family, friends and pets, traveling, going to the beach, and some occasional home improvement projects.

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