Hayes began his career with the department in January 2007 as a correctional officer at Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). After being promoted to classification and treatment officer in 2008, he worked in the restrictive housing unit and served as the grievance coordinator. In 2009 he was promoted to unit administrator at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (LLCC). In this position he worked in the areas of re-entry, restrictive housing and minimum security. Hayes was also the armory supervisor, firearms instructor, chemical agents instructor and oversaw the institution's transition to the use of the Glock 23. He promoted to unit administrator II at KCIW in June 2016, where he managed the Pine Bluff Honor's Unit and supervised the Paws with Purpose program.
Hayes has been involved with the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) since 2008. He has served in various roles in CERT, from squad leader to his present position as commander at KCIW. Hayes has completed Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) investigative training, is a certified corrections supervisor through ACA and is a Kentucky Council on Crime and Delinquency (KCCD) member. He has also received his certificate in supervisory essentials and management fundamentals through the Governmental Services Center.
In 2006 Hayes received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University. He is a 2015 I-LEAD graduate, as well as a current participant in the 2017 Commissioner's Executive Leadership Program. He was named CERT member of the year in 2014 and unit administrator of the year in 2016 at LLCC.