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Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons

Nusrat Choudhury, Deputy Director of the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union, will discuss how court-imposed debts punish people for being poor.

This talk will be moderated by Professor Jayne Huckerby, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Duke International Human Rights Clinic. The program is part of the Human Rights in Practice series, which is co-sponsored by the International Human Rights Clinic and the Center for International and Comparative Law. This event is also co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute; the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics; the Human Rights Law Society; and the International Law Society.

The event is free and open to all, no registration required. Lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact Balfour Smith at bsmith@law.duke.edu.

Nusrat Choudhury is the deputy director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program, which is dedicated to advancing opportunity and equality for communities of color in the United States by fighting white supremacy and drivers of inequality in education, housing, the economy, and the criminal legal system. She leads litigation and advocacy challenging police racial profiling and “debtors’ prisons”—the illegal arrest and jailing of people unable to pay money to courts.

Ms. Choudhury’s litigation and advocacy against debtors’ prisons have exposed and reformed practices in Georgia, Mississippi, Washington, and South Carolina, and has led to the development of national guidance promoting the fair and equal treatment of rich and poor in courts. She has advocated against racial profiling and unlawful stop-and-frisk practices in numerous cities, including through Collins v. The City of Milwaukee, a federal lawsuit that resulted in a landmark 2018 court-ordered settlement agreement requiring sweeping reforms.


April 10, 2019
12:30 pm - 1:15 pm


Duke Law School


Duke Law School 4045