Blog of Rights

Vanita
Gupta

Vanita Gupta is Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of the ACLU’s Center for Justice, which houses the organization’s criminal justice reform, prisoners’ rights, and capital punishment work. She is leading the ACLU’s National Campaign to End Overincarceration. In addition, Vanita is an adjunct clinical professor at NYU School of Law, where she teaches and oversees a racial justice litigation clinic.

 

From 2006-2010, Vanita was a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, focusing on systemic criminal justice reform, immigration detention, and education litigation. She won a landmark settlement on behalf of immigrant children detained in a privately-run prison in Texas that led to the end of “family detention” at the facility. Prior to joining the ACLU, Vanita was at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund where she successfully led the effort to overturn the wrongful drug convictions of 38 individuals in Tulia, Texas, and served on the legal team that won freedom for renowned prison journalist Wilbert Rideau in his fourth retrial after he had already spent 44 years in prison. She also successfully won significant sentence reductions for several men subject to harsh New York Rockefeller drug penalties.

 

Vanita has won numerous awards for her advocacy and has been quoted extensively in national and international media on racial justice and criminal justice issues. In 2011, the National Law Journal recognized her as a Top 40 Minority Lawyer Under 40. She serves on the board of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. Vanita is a graduate of Yale University and New York University School of Law.

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Fighting for "Too Much Justice"

Fighting for "Too Much Justice"

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 4:22pm

In the last 40 years, this country's "tough on crime" policymaking has sacrificed the lives and rights of people of color at the altar of politics.

Criminal Justice Reform 2011 – The Good, the Bad, and the Work Ahead

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 2:37pm

As 2011 comes to end, we’re taking a look back at the year in criminal justice. Over the next few days, we’ll run a series of blog posts on the developments, good and bad, that have shaped our justice system – from overincarceration…

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.

The 40-Year War on  Drugs: It's Not Fair, and It's Not Working.

The 40-Year War on Drugs: It's Not Fair, and It's Not Working.

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 4:13pm

June 2011 has the unfortunate distinction of marking the 40th anniversary of the "war on drugs" — a war which has cost $1 trillion but produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs.

Georgia Prison Strike an Outgrowth of Nation's Addiction to Incarceration

By Chara Fisher Jackson, ACLU of Georgia & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice & Chara Fisher Jackson, ACLU of Georgia at 2:49pm

Business as usual ground to a halt December 9 at nine prisons across the state of Georgia. In what is being called the largest prison strike in American history, tens of thousands of prisoners internally organized a nonviolent protest, announcing to…

From Incredible to Inevitable: How the Politics of Criminal Justice Reform May Be Shifting

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 3:17pm

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act into law. Though this new law retains an unjustifiable federal sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses, it is a remarkable criminal justice reform measure. Ten years…

End Policing for Profit

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 5:18pm

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

Imagine a police officer pulls you over and tells you he believes the cash you're carrying was used to in some illegal activity and — based only on that hunch — he is going to take it…

Achieving the Ideals Embodied in the CRC

By Summer Lacey, Racial Justice Program , Racial Justice Program & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 4:58pm

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most comprehensive treaty on children’s rights. The convention has been ratified by nearly every country in the world, except for the United States. The convention…

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