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Esther Lim

TitleAdjunct Lecturer, Dept. of Social Change & Innovation
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentSocial Work
Address669 W. 34th Street
University Park Campus
Los Angeles CA 90089
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    Esther Lim has worked in the criminal justice field for over 15 years and currently serves as the Jails Project Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. She defends the civil rights of incarcerated individuals in Los Angeles, home to the largest jail system in the country, which is operated by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department—the largest in the United States.

    Esther monitors conditions of confinement, overcrowding, and deputy excessive use of force on inmates, and has been interviewed several times in the national mass media. She has testified in open court, and has worked with federal agencies regarding incidents she has personally witnessed inside the jails.

    In January 2011, Esther witnessed two deputies assault an inmate at TTCF, while yelling, “Stop fighting! Stop resisting!” at the unconscious inmate. This was the first time that a civilian monitor had witnessed deputies beating an inmate first-hand, which strongly supported the hundreds of reports of deputy-on-inmate violence received by the ACLU.

    She sits on the Los Angeles Police Department’s Jail Community Police Advisory Board and has served on various other boards at the state and county level, including the Corrections Standards Authority for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    Prior to joining the ACLU, she worked in several juvenile correctional facilities conducting individual/group therapy sessions with adolescent sex offenders. She has also volunteered for several years at the Orange County Probation Department’s Adult Sex Offender Unit. Esther earned her B.S. from CSU Long Beach, and graduated with High Honors with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California, where she served as student body president and now serves as Vice President of the Social Work Alumni Association.


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