Speaker: Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher at ACLU
The Leitner Center was pleased to host Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), as the first speaker in our 2018-2019 Human Rights Speaker Series. Ms. Turner’s talk examined serious concerns relating to the arrest and jailing of Americans for owing money to private collection agencies. The criminalization of private debt occurs when collection agencies ask judges to issue warrants for people who have failed to pay civil debt judgements. The debts, which can be as low as a few dollars, involve a wide range of consumer debt, including utility bills, medical bills, student loans, and car payments. The trend of using the civil court system to issue these warrants has also disproportionately impacted communities of color. The ACLU’s report on this issue, A Pound of Flesh: The Criminalization of Private Debt, can be downloaded here: https://www.aclu.org/
Jennifer Turner is the human rights researcher in the ACLU’s Human Rights Program. She conducts documentation research and advocacy on human rights violations in the United States, with a focus on criminal justice, policing, national security, racial justice, women’s rights, children’s rights, and immigrants’ rights. She is the author of numerous ACLU reports, including A Living Death, on life without parole sentences for nonviolent offenses; Island of Impunity, which documents police brutality and failure to police domestic and sexual violence in Puerto Rico; and Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity, on how terrorism financing policies undermine Muslims’ religious freedom and chill charitable giving. She also carries out advocacy before the U.N. Human Rights Council, human rights treaty monitoring bodies and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and monitors military commission hearings at Guantánamo Bay.
Kosher pizza will be served.
All Leitner Human Rights Speaker Series events are open to the public.
Leitner International Law Lecture Series