Chijindu ‘Jindu’ Obiofuma is a movement researcher who enjoys writing, thinking and convening groups around issues related to the abolition of the criminal legal system. Following her graduation from Columbia Law School, Jindu began her career as a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program. While at Columbia, Chijindu worked with Bernard Harcourt to create the Prison Healthcare Initiative, an interdisciplinary advocacy space committed to addressing inadequate correctional healthcare through research and advocacy. In addition to interning at the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, she joined the Columbia Human Rights Law Review as a Staff Editor on their Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual and worked as a Teaching Fellow at the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights.
While at Harvard, she has contributed research to projects related to electronic monitoring, bail, pretrial detention, criminal court debt, and emerging adult justice. In conjunction with system-impacted and community-minded advocates in Chicago, and Washington, DC, she has also generated research concerning the intersection of gender, surveillance, and decarceration in the wake of COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on system-impacted people. She also served as a steering committee member and organizer for Harvard Law School’s Critical Race Theory conference and is engaged in creating additional spaces for political education and dialogue for those within and without the Harvard community. Through her work, she has solidified her commitment to bridging the distance between academia and the broader community. She hopes to continue using her proximity to the law to serve, partner with and remain in community with Black, Brown, poor and otherwise marginalized folx, especially those harmed by the criminal legal system.
Following her work at Harvard, Jindu will be joining the Columbia Justice Lab to support communities in closing youth prisons and building community-based alternatives to the criminal legal system.