News & Commentary written by Jesselyn McCurdy

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Jesselyn McCurdy

Director, Equality Division

National Political and Advocacy Department


Jesselyn McCurdy is a Director at the National Political Advocacy Department (NPAD) of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She leads the NPAD Equality Division that engages in federal and state advocacy as well as campaigns on immigration rights, racial justice and AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian) issues. Before joining the Equality team, Jesselyn led the ACLU’s federal criminal justice advocacy work including federal sentencing, prison reform, drug policy, and capital punishment. She was a member of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office (WLO) staff before joining the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee as Counsel. While working for the Judiciary Committee, she was the lead House Counsel for the historic Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, the legislation that lowered the 100 to 1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

Prior to joining the ACLU staff, Jesselyn was the Co-Director of the Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) Education and Youth Development Division.  Also, she authored the chapter entitled Targets for Arrest in the book From Education to Incarceration: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline. Jesselyn received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science from Rutgers University and her Juris Doctor from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.