Blog of Rights

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.
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.

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 …

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…

Tribeca Film Festival Highlights International Overincarceration

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:30pm

The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival came to a close last month, with the festival's coveted Heineken Audience Award going to Give Up Tomorrow — a disturbing documentary detailing a story of an injustice perpetrated against a family in the Philippines.


Downsizing Incarceration is Good for Fairness, Safety, and our Wallets

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 11:25am

It’s no secret that the United States is the largest incarcerator in the world. It’s also no secret that our government selectively enforces criminal laws disproportionately against poor people and people of color, resulting in the …

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…

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…

ACLU Joins Right on Crime, Prison Ministries, Bipartisan Legislators, and the ABA to Prioritize Criminal Justice Reform

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 2:45pm

On Friday, I joined legislators and lawyers from all sides of the political spectrum to help launch the American Bar Association's (ABA) initiative to "Save States Money, Reform Criminal Justice, and Keep the Public Safe." I spoke about…

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