Jess Farris is director of criminal justice and drug policy/policy and advocacy counsel at the ACLU of Southern California.
Since 2013, she has provided research and strategy guidance for ACLU SoCal chapters and works on varied policy and advocacy issues, with a focus on privacy/surveillance and criminal justice. Previously, Jess worked at Innocence Matters, where she provided direct legal representation and worked on policy objectives and public advocacy aimed at preventing and correcting wrongful convictions. Jess now serves on its board of directors.
While attending Drexel Law School, Jess worked over 450 pro bono hours investigating and co-authoring the habeas corpus petition that freed an innocent man after 19 years of imprisonment. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Muhlenberg College with a degree in Philosophy and English, earned an M.A. with high honors in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin, where she focused on post-colonial theory, and received a J.D. magna cum laude from Drexel Law School, where she was a Merit Law Scholar and received the faculty award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service Honors.