North Las Vegas intends to hire Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda to help get its jail up and running again.
The City Council voted Tuesday night to allow City Manager Ryann Juden to work on a consulting contract with Dzurenda, who is leaving his director job. The contract for Dzurenda’s services is capped at $150,000.
The talks between Dzurenda and the city started in mid-July, he said Wednesday.
He said the opportunity to help North Las Vegas start from scratch on its jail is one of the reasons he is walking away from the Department of Corrections.
“I would never have this opportunity ever again, to be able to set it up the way I want it,” he said.
The job being closer to home helps , he said.
Dzurenda said the North Las Vegas jail will focus on rehabilitation and providing services while inmates are in custody.
He formed his consulting firm, JD Consulting LLC, on Tuesday.
Juden said the contract will go back to council members in September.
North Las Vegas recently provided a one-year notice to end a deal with Las Vegas to house up to 315 of its inmates in the Las Vegas Detention Center.
Opening a jail is an uncommon task, and Dzurenda brings experience to the table, Juden said. The city manager said there is a possibility Dzurenda could be brought on full time to run the jail.
Before serving about three years as the director of Nevada prisons, Dzurenda served as commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Correction and the first deputy commissioner for the New York City Department of Correction.
Gov. Steve Sisolak credited Dzurenda for his “robust efforts to begin reforming Nevada’s correctional institutions.”