President Biden has appointed Judge Helena Heath of Albany, N.Y., as Director of the Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking Office. “Judge Heath is an accomplished legal professional with deep roots in her community who will bring to her new role a wealth of courtroom experience, a record of sound judgment and a proven commitment to fairness and equity,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy Solomon. Heath was appointed an Albany City Court Judge in 2005, becoming the first female of African descent to serve in the position in the city's 319-year history. She was elected in 2005 to a full term of office and re-elected in 2011 and 2017.
Heath served on the bench for 16 years. She implemented the first DWI court in the city of Albany. The court focused on accountability and participation in victim impact programming. She also had a lead role in creating user-friendly court practices to implement the eviction moratorium provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act and related state laws. Judge Heath has 33 years of public service legal experience. In1994, she organized a local effort in Albany that resulted in the establishment of a Children’s Center at Albany County Family Court. Judge Heath takes over the leadership post from Dawn Doran, who has served as the SMART Office’s acting director and will resume her role as the office’s deputy director. The SMART Office was authorized by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The agency works with criminal justice professionals across the entire spectrum of sex offender management activities.