For his extraordinary and proactive efforts to improve one of the largest prisons in the state, Tabor Correctional Institution Warden Jamie Bullard has been named the 2022 North Carolina Warden of the Year.
“Jamie Bullard’s willingness to open doors to new programs, reform operations for the better, and his general appreciation for the field of corrections and his facility, is what makes him stand out among leaders and radiate a genuine passion for people,’’ said North Carolina Secretary of Adult Correction Todd Ishee.
“Warden Bullard’s desire is to always help,” Ishee added. “His stable leadership, his ability to think outside the box, and his innate ability to connect with staff makes him an ideal choice for Warden of the Year.”
Warden Bullard is one of the 53 men and women in charge of the state’s prison facilities, which house more than 30,000 offenders. The wardens supervise many complex operations at their prisons.
At Tabor Correctional Institution in Tabor City, Warden Bullard oversees almost 1,400 offenders of multiple custody levels and a staff of more than 500 men and women who serve in custody, food service, medical, dental, administration, programs, maintenance, and as psychological staff.
The facility has several different program and vocational opportunities for offenders such as Adult Basic Education, GED, Human Resource Development, Computer Applications, Office Science Education, Commercial Cleaning, Thinking for a Change, Getting It Right, and Anger Management.
The facility also has a Correction Enterprises sewing plant that provides job training and skills to more than 100 offenders. The plant operates the latest state-of-the-art, automated cloth-cutting machines designed to minimize waste and maximize efficiency of operations. The plant manufactures uniforms for staff and offenders, among other items.
Warden Bullard has helped guide his team at Tabor to receive some of the best audits in the state prison system in the areas of security, safety, sanitation, and administration. The facility surpasses expectations in almost every area of operations, Ishee noted.
Warden Bullard has shown true leadership by example.
He has worked all hours of the day and night to do rounds with night shift employees. If an employee wants to speak to him, he takes the time to listen. He will not answer a phone call, or an email, while he is having a one-on-one conversation with a staff member. As a result, the staff feels respected and heard.
Also, he fostered the South-Central Region’s first softball tournament fund raiser last year that raised $2,107 for Special Olympics and involved Tabor, Lumberton, Scotland and Columbus correctional institutions.
The second softball tournament raised $2,265 for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program.
Bullard was nominated for 2022 national warden of the year honors from the North American Association of Wardens & Superintendents. That prestigious honor was awarded to Warden Douglas Fender from Ohio.
A veteran employee to state government, Bullard began his career in 2000 as a correctional officer at the Columbus Correctional Institution in Whiteville, where he also served as a mentor, offender disciplinary investigator and acting sergeant.
He was promoted to sergeant and reassigned to Tabor in 2008. He was named assistant unit manager at the prison in 2010 and promoted to unit manager in 2012. Three years later, he was promoted to captain.
In 2018, he was tapped to be the regional intelligence team leader, coordinating the gathering of information necessary to maintain safety and security for staff and offenders. He was named associate warden for custody at Tabor Correctional in December 2019 and named warden in March of 2022.
He has been a member of the Prison Emergency Response Team since 2005, and as a platoon leader he supervises the PERT teams at both the Tabor and Columbus facilities.
Bullard succeeds Warden Doris Daye of Caswell Correctional Center, who was the 2021 North Carolina Warden of the Year.