ERIC BALABAN:  The reemergence of debtor’s prisons and the social strategy to incarcerate the poor

Eric Balaban is a senior staff counsel with the National Prison Project (NPP) of the American Civil Liberties Union.  Since joining the ACLU in 1994, Mr. Balaban has represented over 75,000 prisoners in class action lawsuits challenging unconstitutional conditions of confinement across the country.  He is the co-author of two national ACLU Reports, Abandoned and Abused: Orleans Parish Prisoners in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina (2006) and In for a Penny:  The Rise of America’s New Debtor’s Prisons (2010).  More information on the ACLU’s prison project can be found at


DARPANA SHETH: The rise in civil forfeiture as profit making schemes for local law enforcement 

Darpana Sheth is an attorney with the Institute for Justice where she litigates cases to pro mote economic liberty and secure property rights.  She is currently the lead attorney on a federal class action against the City of Philadelphia and its law-enforcement officials challenging the City’s egregious civil-forfeiture practices. Darpana graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors in Political Science and  received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  The Institute’s website is and more information and what people can do about asset forfeiture can be found on the website

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