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New Statewide County Prison Coordinator

Timothy C. Ward
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Lori Benoit
Contact Email:
January 4, 2021

New Statewide County Prison Coordinator
James Payne Promoted

FORSYTH, Ga. – Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the promotion of James Payne to Statewide County Prison Coordinator, effective January 1, 2021. As County Prison Coordinator, Payne will be responsible for overseeing the operation of 21 county facilities in counties across the state.

“Payne has developed a wide range of knowledge throughout his 30+ years of service with the agency,” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We are confident he will excel in his new position as County Prison Coordinator.”

Payne began his career with the Department in 1990 as a Correctional Officer at Hays State Prison. In 1992, he was promoted to Sergeant. He transferred to the Northwest Probation Detention Center in 1994 when he was promoted to Chief of Security. In 1999, he was promoted to Manager of the Communications Center at Central Office. In 2001, Payne was selected to serve as a Program Development Consultant, working with the Corrections Division Policies and Procedures. Three years later, he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent at the Northwest Probation Detention Center. He served in this capacity until 2010 when he became an Auditor with the Investigations & Compliance Unit. In 2013, Payne was promoted to Superintendent of Phillips Transitional Center, and in 2016, was promoted to Warden at Burruss Correction Training Center, where he currently serves.

Payne earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration from California Coast University. He has completed the following departmental training: Basic Correctional Officer Training, Professional Management Program, POST Instructor Training, Senior POST Instructor Certification, Corrections Leadership Institute, and Wardens Pre-Command. 


About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 50,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit


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