Meet Jeff

“I’m running for District Attorney because I want to create positive change in the criminal justice system. I will make this office a model of community-oriented justice.”

Jeff Nieman is a lifelong resident of Orange County and lives in Chapel Hill. He has worked in the District Attorney’s office for over 16 years and has broad experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases.

The son of a longtime Public Defender, Jeff believes that a prosecutor’s role in the court system is to look at the facts and to seek justice. He is an advocate for rehabilitation, racial justice, and ending the criminalization of poverty. Read more about his priorities as District Attorney.

In 2012 Jeff created Outreach Court in Orange County, which seeks rehabilitative alternatives to incarceration for defendants experiencing homelessness, the first diversion court of its kind in North Carolina. He also co-founded the Driver’s License Restoration Project to provide indigent people with free counseling to recover their licenses. Jeff then successfully advocated for a change in state law to make the system more fair for those revoked for financial reasons. The Department of Justice called on him to testify as an expert on this topic in a federal case that overturned North Carolina’s Voter ID law. Having helped to create a juvenile crime rehabilitation court, he was also a longtime advocate of the “Raise the Age” law change to end adult prosecution of 16-17 year-olds that was finally passed in the state in 2019.

In addition to his full-time jobs as Assistant District Attorney and father, Jeff has served in the following roles:

  • Co-founder of the NC Driver’s License Restoration Project
  • Volunteer Teen Court Judge in the Volunteers for Youth diversion court program
  • Active Member of Orange County NAACP Criminal Justice Committee
  • Chair of the Orange County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council
  • Vice-Chair of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness
  • Adjunct Professor at NCCU School of Law

Jeff is active in F3, a local fitness & civic group, through which he has helped lead fundraisers for local and global nonprofit organizations.  He has also served as a high school Sunday School teacher at the United Church of Chapel Hill and a YMCA youth basketball coach for many years.

Jeff is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Central University School of Law.

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