Blog of Rights

Inimai
Chettiar
Inimai Chettiar is an Advocacy & Policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she serves as a national legislative counsel working to end mass incarceration in states across the country. She has published extensive scholarship on using economic analysis to advance progressive legal reform. She received a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law.
Criminal Sentencing Reform Wins Bipartisan Support in Ohio

Criminal Sentencing Reform Wins Bipartisan Support in Ohio

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 3:41pm
Ohio's legislature has not been the friendliest place for civil libertarians this year. Bills under consideration include the most restrictive photo identification requirements for voters, privatizing six of the state's prisons and some of the nation's most aggressive attacks on reproductive freedom.

Are Saggy Pants Really a Threat to Flight Safety?

By Elana Fogel, ACLU & Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 6:32pm

On Wednesday, a college student was removed from his U.S. Airways flight and arrested at San Francisco International Airport. The scholar-athlete, Deshon Marman, was attempting to return to the University of New Mexico after attending a childhood…

Plata is a Net Benefit to Public Safety and Our Constitutional Rights

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 4:48pm

Yesterday's Supreme Court opinion in Brown v. Plata is controversial only to those who do not understand the magnitude of the overincarceration epidemic in this country. The high court upheld an order mandating California to reduce prison overcrowding…

States' Brilliant Budget Solution: Sacrifice Public Education to Spend More on Ineffective Prisons

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:32pm

California's governor wants to eliminate the entire $30 million the state spends on public libraries, while spending more than $50 million to imprison two dozen bedridden inmates who pose no threat to public safety.

Unfortunately, these types…

Harry's Law's Primetime Shout-Out for Criminal Law Reform

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:06pm

While flipping channels on Monday night, we were pleased to stumble across NBC's new show, Harry's Law. The pilot episode features a bored Harriet "Harry" Korn (played by Kathy Bates), who opens her own criminal defense firm after she's…

Is Ending Mass Incarceration a Christian Imperative?

Is Ending Mass Incarceration a Christian Imperative?

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 11:02am

Christians such as Pat Robertson believe it is a moral imperative to address mass incarceration, especially in the face of stark racial disparities.

The Legacy of Derrick Bell

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program & Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 4:50pm

The following is an excerpt from a longer article appearing on ACSblog:

Professor Derrick Bell, who passed away on Wednesday, was a racial justice pioneer and teacher who enlightened many. His actions spoke as loudly as his words and influence…

It's Not Just Prosecutorial Leverage That's Eroding our Justice System

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 6:17pm

Yesterday's New York Times article highlighting the coercive practice of plea bargaining is not news to advocates of criminal justice reform. Over the last three decades, this country's excessively long sentencing schemes, inflexible mandatory…

A Way Toward Balancing Government Budgets While Promoting Justice: Break Our Addiction to Incarceration

A Way Toward Balancing Government Budgets While Promoting Justice: Break Our Addiction to Incarceration

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 12:44pm

A new ACLU report shows how several states have enacted cost-effective laws cutting their unnecessary overreliance and massive spending on prisons while continuing to protect the safety of our communities.

Mother Jaywalking Faces More Prison Time Than Man Who Ran Over Her Son

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Jon Martin, ACLU at 10:20am

“Tough on crime” rhetoric – especially when it comes to perceived threats against our nation’s children – has been a political focal point in recent years. Local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are often judged…

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