Meeting PPI board member: Neelum Arya
by Leah Sakala, November 21, 2013
Neelum Arya is Research Director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. Prior to joining UCLA she was the Research and Policy Director for the Campaign for Youth Justice, a national nonprofit devoted to removing youth from the adult criminal justice system. She has published extensively about the dangers of incarceration for youth focusing on the impact on families and communities of color. For her work she was named a Harvard Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow in 2011. Neelum joined the PPI board in 2012.
Why did you join the Prison Policy Initiative board?
Neelum Arya: I have admired PPI for a long time, starting with their work on prison gerrymandering. I joined the Board to help PPI expand their reach to new constituencies. If you are active in the justice-reform movement you are aware of PPI and rely on their work. I joined the Board to help bring more people into the movement.
What’s unique about PPI?
NA: PPI is a nimble organization that always seems to be on the cutting edge of identifying ways that we are harmed by mass incarceration. They produce amazing reports with critical information and graphics, and then get the word out through traditional media and social media. Plus they are fast, fast, fast.
What’s something that most people don’t know about PPI?
NA: Most people probably don’t know that PPI is a small nonprofit based in Western Massachusetts. Given the amount of work that PPI produces, I think most people think PPI is a much bigger organization based in New York or DC.