The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law announced on July 11, 2012, that CAP Leadership Fellow Inimai Chettiar would be joining the organization as director of the justice program. In this capacity, Chettiar will guide the center’s work to end unnecessary incarceration and to ensure equal access to the courts. The center’s president, Michael Waldman, welcomed Chettiar by stating, “Her leadership in racial and criminal justice issues will be crucial as we work to fix the nation’s broken criminal justice system.”
Chettiar has written extensively on criminal law reform and economics. In a January CAP column entitled “Criminal Justice Reform Can Help with State Fiscal Woes,” she explains how economics and fiscal concerns are tied to criminal and racial justice and civil rights, and how reforming the criminal justice system to incarcerate fewer people can save states money. In another CAP column entitled “Keeping Low-Risk Elderly Prisoners Behind Bars Is a Budget Buster,” published in June, Chettiar, along with ACLU fiscal policy analyst Will Bunting, explains why the mass incarceration of the elderly is both unnecessary and expensive.
Prior to joining the Brennan Center for Justice, Chettiar served as policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Center for Justice where she led a nationwide legislative program to end mass incarceration. Prior to joining the ACLU, Chettiar worked as an attorney at New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integration and as a Litigation Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. She holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law.This article was originally published in Brennan Center for Justice.