Doris Daye was recently named the new warden of the Caswell Correctional Center, a medium security prison located in Blanch.
Daye grew up in a neighboring county and spent her time as a child working on a tobacco farm owned by her grandparents.
As she grew older her desire to help people and work in criminal justice intensified.
"I always knew I wanted to do something in the criminal justice field, but I didn't think it would lead me to where I am now," she said.
Daye began her career as an office assistant in 1996 at Orange Correctional Center in Hillsborough and a year later, she was promoted to case manager at Orange Correctional Center.
She later served as a case manager at Polk Correctional Institution and was promoted to program supervisor in 2000 at Alamance Correctional Center.
Shortly after, Daye was promoted to program director at the Durham Correctional Center, which closed in 2011.
In 2006, Daye left the prison system to become a juvenile court counselor in Guilford County but returned a year later as a case analyst at Polk.
She took at job as a probation/parole officer in 2010 and was named assistant superintendent for programs at Caswell Correctional Center in 2015.
Daye said in her current position she believes in treating offenders and staff with respect.
"My main focus is safety. Whether it be the staff, the public or the offender's safety, it is very important to me," she said.
Daye also said the facility offers programs to inmates to get them prepared for life outside of prison.
"Many people aren't aware of the re-entry program we offer offenders," she explained. "A lot of these men and women will be released once they finish their sentences and with the re-entry program they are able to work with their case manager to get involved in one of the several trade programs available to them. As they get closer to their release date they will have the opportunity to have phone interviews with potential employers. All that is set up by the case managers."
She also said offenders have the opportunity to receive their high school diploma and if desired, even their associate degree.
"We offer these services so when offenders get released they don't end up back in prison. However, what many people fail to realize is without these services an offender is more likely to return and that costs you and me, the taxpayers money to house, clothe and feed them," she said.
Daye said she is happy in the position she's in and encourages youth interested in criminal justice to pursue their dreams and work hard.
"All I can say is find a mentor who works in this line of work. Know that it's okay to start at the bottom," she continued. "I started as an administrative assistant and here I am warden. You have to want to succeed and put the work in. If you're doing it for the money you're going into the wrong career."
She also said hard work and family values are an important part of success.
Daye credits her grandparents for shaping her into the person she is today.
"I wish my grandparents could see me now, this tobacco farm picking country girl,” she said emotionally. "They taught me the value of working hard and not giving up. They’d be proud of me."