Skip to the content

James Smith

James joined the PbS coaching team in 2022 after a twenty-year career as a youth justice and child welfare professional, with a track record of data-driven strategy development and implementation. Since beginning his career managing the day-to-day operations of a detention facility in Atlanta, Georgia, James has served as the Director of Detention Services and the Assistant Secretary of Residential Services at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Beginning in 2008, James also served the Texas Juvenile Justice Department as the Director of Youth Services and later as the Associate Executive Director.

Between 2012 and 2020, James worked as the Director of New Programs and Development at VisionQuest, Ltd. In this role, he provided leadership and guidance about evidence-based models and performance measures to various juvenile justice departments and agencies. For a brief time between March and October 2020, James led the coordination and administration of national nonprofit Southwest Key Program's direct services to young people who have recently immigrated. James is especially knowledgeable about safety and security, trauma-focused care, restraints and confinement. James has presented about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in Chicago, IL and Washington, DC.  

James is an alumnus of Georgia College & State University. He is a member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and the National Partnership for Juvenile Services.