New SMART Program Specialists
The SMART Office announces the addition of two new staff to its team: Juli Ana Grant and Samantha Opong.
Juli Ana Grant has been with the SMART Office since May 2010. Before joining SMART, Ms. Grant worked for the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to her federal posts, Ms. Grant was the manager of sex offense management and domestic violence programs and the Tribal Justice Exchange Project at the Center for Court Innovation, where she
- Oversaw development and implementation of sex offense management programs and specialized sex offense courts.
- Oversaw the development of domestic violence courts in New York State and provided technical assistance to states on domestic violence issues to help design and develop protocols, research projects, service plans, resources, and techniques for documenting results.
- Served on the Tribal Justice Exchange Project team, where she
- Worked to ensure that tribal communities had access to training and ongoing technical assistance related to problem-solving, community-based practices.
- Encouraged formal collaborations between traditional tribal justice systems and state and local court systems.
- Identified and disseminated best practices developed in Indian Country.
Prior to her work at the center, Ms. Grant was the director of victim services overseeing crisis intervention, social services, restitution, and childcare services for victims of crime in Brooklyn criminal, community, and supreme courts; the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office; and the Brooklyn Family Justice Center.
Samantha Opong recently joined the SMART Office as a program specialist in July 2010. Prior to joining the SMART Office, Ms. Opong worked as a professional staff member for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives. In this capacity, Ms. Opong assisted in hearing preparation through research and logistics. Before joining the committee, Ms. Opong worked as a staffer in a congressional office where she made policy recommendations and organized panel discussions that centered on the correlation between mental health and youth violence. As a social worker, Ms. Opong worked for more than 9 years with homeless families and victims of child and sexual abuse. Her work encompassed both direct services and policy formation. Ms. Opong began her career as a case manager for a homeless shelter in New York, where she worked with child victims of sexual abuse. She has developed educational programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. While working at a homeless shelter, Ms. Opong also developed an aftercare program that helped former homeless families adjust and reintegrate into society. Ms. Opong earned a bachelor of arts in sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a master of social work from Howard University.
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