Inimai M. Chettiar

Director, Justice Program

Inimai M. Chettiar is the Director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. The Justice Program seeks to secure our nation’s promise of "equal justice for all" by creating an effective, rational and fair legal system. It proposes and works to enact data-driven policy and legal reforms aimed at two main goals: ending mass incarceration and closing the justice gap for low-income Americans

With expertise in applying economic analysis to criminal justice, Ms. Chettiar joined the Brennan Center in 2012. She received this training at NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity, where she led legal and policy initiatives using economic analysis to reform federal criminal justice and public health laws.

Before coming to the Brennan Center, Ms. Chettiar worked at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she was a lead architect of their nationwide Initiative to End Mass Incarceration. She also launched their state legislative campaign to reduce mass incarceration. Chettiar has also served as a fellow at the Center for American Progress, a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Lawrence M. McKenna at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and an elementary school teacher in Quito, Ecuador.

Her work has been featured in New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, NPR, Bloomberg and other outlets. She has published extensive scholarship on economic and fiscal policy and criminal law reform, and is listed in the national directory as a Top Wonk in criminal justice, economic policy, and race and economics. She also has expertise in federal and state advocacy and litigation. In 2014, she was co-chair of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team’s Public Safety Committee. 

Ms. Chettiar holds a B.A. cum laude in political science and psychology from Georgetown University and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Chicago School of Law, where she served as Comment Editor of The Law Review. She is a member of the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis and American Correctional Association, and sits on the U.S. Department of Justice Pretrial Justice Task Force and the American Law Institute Model Penal Code Committee.

Read the press release on Chettiar joining the Brennan Center.

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