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James Payne


Jim joined CultureBrokers because of its outstanding reputation in forging diversity, equity, and inclusion within corporate cultures.

Jim graduated from NYU School of Law in 1976, joining the Manhattan DA’s Office.  He was assigned to a trial division responsible for investigation of major felony and homicide cases. Jim was lead attorney during much of his 6 year tenure with a number of successful cases, including the first use of “blood profiling” (the precursor of DNA evidence) in a homicide trial. In 1982, Jim joined the New York City Attorney’s office, Family Court Division as a prosecutor. He was later appointed by Mayor Edward Koch to head of the New York City Department of Probation.

After leaving government service, Jim has held several positions. They include Director of Pretrial Services for the Vera Institute of Justice, where he directed a program that became an early approach to bail reform.  He was also General and Legislative Counsel for Covenant House New York, the nation’s largest non-profit providing services, shelter, and advocacy on behalf of homeless and runaway youth.

He served as Executive Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Through Education, a non-profit that provided a matriculated college program for women in New York State prisons.  As Director of Adult Male Services for Westhab, he led this Westchester, NY not-for-profit providing shelter care, supportive housing, and employment training for disabled veterans and adult males returning from incarceration or substance abuse therapy.

In 2002, Jim became a technical assistance provider for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI).  He worked in twelve of the thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia, providing guidance, assistance, and support for jurisdictions working to transform their youth justice systems and reduce racial, ethnic, and gender disparities.

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