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National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC)


Commissioner Brenda V. Smith

Commissioner Brenda V. Smith is a Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, where she teaches community and economic development law, legal ethics and women, and crime and law. Her research interests center on women in conflict with the law and on sexual abuse of individuals in custody. Professor Smith is also Project Director and Principal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections Cooperative Agreement on Addressing Staff Sexual Misconduct with Offenders. She is an expert on issues affecting women in prison, a topic about which she has widely published and spoken.

Before her appointment to the faculty of the Washington College of Law, Professor Smith was Senior Counsel for Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center. She has also served as the Director of the Center’s Women in Prison Project and its Child and Family Support Project.

Professor Smith earned her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.