David C. Fathi is Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, which brings challenges to conditions of confinement in prisons, jails, and other detention facilities and works to end U.S. overreliance on incarceration. He first joined the Project in 1990 and worked as a staff lawyer for more than 10 years before becoming director in 2010. He has special expertise in challenging “supermax” prisons, where prisoners are held for months or years at a time in conditions of near-total isolation.
From 2007 to 2010, Fathi was Director of the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch. The U.S. Program works to defend the rights of particularly vulnerable groups in the United States, and has published groundbreaking reports on the death penalty, prison conditions, racial discrimination, the rights of immigrants, and many other human rights issues.
Fathi has lectured nationally and internationally on criminal justice issues. His op-eds have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, and other major media outlets. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Washington, D.C.