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Experts - Dasheika Ruffin-min

Dasheika Ruffin

ACLU National Campaign for Smart Justice

Dasheika serves as the Southern Regional Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Campaign for Smart Justice. The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is a 50-state campaign focused on ending mass incarceration in the United States, reducing the jail and prison population by 50 percent, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Currently, Dasheika is managing a multi-state cash bail reform and electoral campaign. She is working with left-right coalitions, elected officials on both sides of the aisle, directly impacted communities, and grassroots organizations to end our country’s two-tiered wealth-based justice system, which punishes the poor when they cannot afford to pay bail and rewards the rich by allowing them to purchase their freedom. Dasheika’s work has already led to major bail reforms in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Those states have reformed their bail practices and reallocated the cost savings to services aimed at keeping communities safer and reducing recidivism.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Dasheika served as the Legal Legislative Analyst for the City of Atlanta, where she drafted policies and laws, on behalf of the Atlanta City Council. Most notably, she drafted Atlanta’s Marijuana Ordinance, which deprioritizes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and Atlanta’s Ban the Box legislation, which prohibits the use of criminal history information to disqualify candidate applying for work with the city. The legislation received bipartisan support and was eventually adopted by Georgia’s Republican Governor.

Dasheika serves as a volunteer lawyer with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, where she represents the interest of indigent clients. She works as a Guardian Ad Litem for Fulton County, where she represents the interest of minor children. She is a graduate and Executive Board member of the New Leaders Council and a graduate of Leadership DeKalb. Additionally, Dasheika serves as a script consultant for Own Network’s television series Queen Sugar, where she consults on criminal justice issues.

Dasheika participated in the first Square One Roundtable convening “Examining the History of Racial and Economic Inequality: Implications for Justice Policy and Practice.”

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