James E Dzurenda is currently the Sheriff of Nassau County in the State of New York which he oversees both the Corrections Division and the Deputy Sheriffs Enforcement Division for Nassau County with a population of over 1.4 Million residents.
James began his career as a Correctional Officer for a local Jail in the State of Connecticut May 1987 and was promoted throughout every rank within the Connecticut Department of Correction. The State of Connecticut is a Unified System which means that Prisons, Jails, and Parole fall under the same system. His experience in Connecticut gave him that well-rounded understanding of the whole incarceration process from Jail, Prison, and Parole within the Community. His roles allowed him to understand the importance of treatment and programs, and how it is possible to change someone’s course in their life to be successful in the community. He retired from Connecticut as Commissioner of The Agency overseeing the entire Department of Correction. He left an important change in the mission of the Agency and even more with the Parole Division. Instead of the accountability being left on the parolee, he reversed the mission to place the accountability on the Parole Officers to ensure the Offenders success, which ultimately reduces victimization through the State.
James E. Dzurenda left Connecticut to take the role as First Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Correction. James oversaw the Operations of all the Jails in each of the 5 Boroughs of New York City, as well as, Rikers Island. This role for the City widened his knowledge and expanded his understanding on the importance of community involvement within a jail system and how every agency and support mechanism is needed if anyone is going to be successful returning to the City.
Following New York City, James took a role as being on the Governor’s Cabinet for the State of Nevada, as Director for the Department of Corrections. In Nevada, James revised the entire Use of Force Policy for the State, introduced Evidence Based Programs, and changed the mission for the Agency. For the first time in history, the State of Nevada focused it’s efforts on investing into the treatment and programming for all incarcerated, adding into it’s mission the importance of providing every offender the tools to be able to succeed. James knew that this would have long term impacts by not only changing someone’s life, but reducing victimization in the communities for a safer place for families and visitors. He also focused on the services and treatment of those with mental health issues, and invested in the support services necessary for success. For this, James received the 2019 NAMI Hero Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Because of James’ beliefs and investments in every individual, he was asked by the City of North Las Vegas in Nevada to reopen the City Jail which has been closed for almost 10 years and develop policies around programs and treatment as a way of providing a possible promising future for those incarcerated to give them the opportunity to turn their lives around and start being successful.