Inimai M. Chettiar

Director, Justice Program

Inimai M. Chettiar is the Director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. The Justice Program’s priority initiative is to end mass incarceration, while keeping the country safe. It melds law, economics, and policy to produce empirical reports and innovative policy solutions. The program also conducts federal and state advocacy and strategic litigation.

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.

Beforehand, Ms. Chettiar worked at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she created and ran their nationwide state legislative Campaign to End Mass Incarceration. Ms. 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. In 2014, she co-chaired Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team’s Public Safety Committee. 

She conceptualized and edited the book Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, which features criminal justice policy agendas from presidential candidates in the 2016 election and other national political leaders. She also conceptualized and launched the new group, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration.

Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, MSNBC, NPR, and Bloomberg. She has published extensive scholarship on criminal justice, and is a Top Wonk. She has expertise in federal and state advocacy and litigation.

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 Ms. Chettiar joining the Brennan Center.

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