SMART Team | Justice Resource Institute

Meet JRI's Service Navigator

Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.



SMART TEAM, a division of the Justice Resource Institute (JRI), provides positive transitions for court-involved, homeless, and traumatized youth, 13-24 years old. These youth are from low-income families, unstably housed, often gang-involved, and have high levels of exposure to community violence. The stress of these circumstances can trigger young people to engage in reactive behavior, such as weapons carrying, aggression, gang affiliation and other risk-taking behavior that can increase their vulnerability.

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At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: SMART Team’s comprehensive services, expertise, networks, knowledge of how to navigate the justice system, and willingness to tackle the toughest cases have transformed the lives of many proven-risk youth, and turned them into productive members of
Age: 13-24
Gender: male, female, transgender, non-conforming
Capacity: Open for referrals
Let's Connect
Binh Tran, LICSW
Division Director
555 Amory Street, Suite 300
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-0650
Clinical Services and Boston Trauma Response

SMART Team’s Clinical Services provides confidential mental health services, advocacy, and case management to young people and their families who are impacted by the criminal and or juvenile justice systems. SMART Team has developed a specialized model of in-home therapy for proven-risk youth. SMART Team’s Trauma Response also provides rapid response to homicides affecting young people (13-24), short-term case management for young people affected by homicide, coping groups, and follow-up psychological first aid services. Following a traumatic event, the youth involved often feel helpless, confused, and in emotional shock. Often there is no one available in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy to help the victims through these difficult hours. SMART Team’s Trauma Response staff and volunteers have the ability to respond to an emergency within 30 minutes.

SMART Team’s comprehensive services, expertise, networks, knowledge of how to navigate the system, and willingness to tackle the toughest cases have transformed the lives of many proven-risk youth, and turned them into productive members of society.

Social Innovation Forum

SMART Team was selected as a 2016 Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum (SIF). The SIF is working for social change across Greater Boston by helping organizations such as SMART Team gain visibility, expand networks, and strengthen impact.

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The SMART Team is instrumental in supporting the effective transition of high risk youth back into the community. We're fortunate to have them as a partner in our work.
Peter Forbes
Commissioner, Department of Youth Services

The Transitional Homes program provides court-involved young people the opportunity to thrive in safe, supportive, and secure home settings. Building on the structure of the foster care model, Transitional Homes keeps young people out of incarceration and in the community. This gives them an opportunity to make positive changes in their lives while saving the cost of incarceration.

YouthHarbors provides housing assistance, an adult support network, and individualized life skills development to homeless, unaccompanied high school students. These young adults are too old for child services, and adult shelters expose them to a world that is developmentally inappropriate and dangerous for them.

Forty-seven percent of homeless adults reported first experiencing homelessness as a teen. Through YouthHarbors, homeless young people find safety in appropriate housing, graduate high school, and break the cycle of homelessness and poverty to become self-sufficient adults.

YouthHarbors has served 385 homeless young people since 2009. YouthHarbors has secured permanent housing for 94% of the youth it serves. However, 96% of YouthHarbors students have graduated or are on track to graduate from high school.

Request More Information

For assistance determining which programs or services will meet your individualized need, please fill out the form below. If you have a question regarding a particular program, please contact the Program Director listed in the “Let’s Connect” box above.