Prisons Honors Haynes as Top Programs Employee


RALEIGH — Cindy Haynes has won the state prison system’s 2021 Programs Award.

Haynes, program director at Marion Correctional Institution, accepted the award Thursday alongside 10 other Prisons honorees in various categories. The ceremony coincided with national Correctional Officers and Correctional Employees Week.

“She represents the best of our best from across the state,” said Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee. “Our award winners are hard-working, innovative and deeply committed to their jobs, their colleagues and to the care of the men and women in our custody.”

Haynes is in charge of rehabilitative services and educational opportunities for offenders. But her work often extends far beyond her official duties.

“She was my go-to,” said Warden Mike Slagle of Mountain View Correctional Institution in Spruce Pine, where Ms. Haynes worked until a March promotion. “She got involved in every aspect of the prison, and she was great at it.”

One of Ms. Haynes’s unofficial roles is detective, mostly in cases of contraband smuggling into the prison. “She has a knack for gleaning information from offenders,” Slagle said. “She did the legwork for several investigations into staff, offenders and visitors.”

Multiple felony charges have resulted from her sleuthing. “Those arrests were possible because of her diligence,” he said.

Haynes started with Prisons in 1993 as a correctional officer in Morganton, moving into case management, then offender classifications, before earning a programs management post.

She has also worked with crime victims, serving as a victim information coordinator. Last month, the combined U.S. Attorney’s Offices in North Carolina presented her the Victim Services Award as Distinguished Law Enforcement Officer.

The award cited a recent incident of a convicted domestic abuser contacting the victim by telephone and mail. Haynes intervened to have the offender reclassified to a higher security level.

It cost him most outside communication privileges for the remainder of his sentence.

LaDonna Browning, director of Prisons’ Western Region, joked that after Ms. Haynes left Mountain View, Warden Slagle refused to speak with Marion Warden Ben Carver.

“She’s a jack of all trades,” Browning added. “It doesn’t matter what you give her, what you ask her to do, she’ll do it.”

The state prison system houses more than 28,000 offenders in 55 facilities with a staff of around 13,500.

Click for information on other Prisons 2021 award winners and for images of award winners.

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