Employee Spotlight: Sri Thakkilapati



Get to know the ACLU of Ohio team by checking out our Employee Spotlight blogs! You may know that Sri once taught sociology at Ohio State University, or that she serves on the Board of Directors for Women Have Options, but today we found out some new fun facts! Read on for more information.




  • Q: What is your full name?
  • A: Sri Devi Thakkilapati
  • Q: What pronouns do you use?
  • A: She/her/hers
  • Q: What is your title and which department do you work in?
  • A:Policy Research – Policy Department
  • Q: Did you have any past positions at the ACLU of Ohio?
  • A: No
  • Q: Which office do you work in?
  • A: Cleveland
  • Q: When did you start working at the ACLU of Ohio?
  • A: August 1, 2017
  • Q: What projects are you currently working on?
  • A: Broadly, I’m looking at fines and fees in the criminal justice system. Specifically, I’m looking at how mayor’s courts administer fines and fees, and analyzing the problems (both social and economic) created by profit oriented courts and policing. Read this FAQ blog for more information about mayor’s courts.
  • Q: What issue area are you most passionate about?
  • A: I am passionate about the criminalization of poverty and racial disparities in policing. We’ve known for a really long time that Black people are disproportionately targeted by the police for routine stops, and that they are punished more severely for crimes at trial. What we’re seeing with mayor’s court data is that Black people also get more tickets than white people and that they are charged more fines and fees. This contributes to the criminalization of poor people and People of Color.
  • Q: What is your favorite ACLU memory?
  • A: In the fall of 2017 we had an event in our Cleveland office, “Policing and Immigration: Identifying Police Practices That Protect Immigrant Communities” that was extremely powerful. On the panel was Cel Rivera, the Chief of Police in Lorain County, and he discussed how the police should act protectively instead of acting punitively, in communities with a large portion of undocumented migrants. It was encouraging to see a police officer enforce policies that foster trust between local authorities and immigrant communities.
  • Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
  • A: I’d like to go to Mexico City! It’s a very old city, it’s close to Cleveland, and it has all the elements of a vibrant, cosmopolitan city. Also, the food scene is supposed to be excellent because of the amazing produce in Mexico.
  • Q: Where do you get your news?
  • A: The Washington Post and The Guardian.
  • Q: What is the last movie you saw in the theaters?
  • A: A Wrinkle in Time.
  • Q: What TV show would you say is the best of all time?
  • A: The Wire – I’ve seen it twice all the way through. The show is set in Baltimore, which is a lot like Cleveland, a town that was once wealthy and has recently fallen on harder times. The Wire is a sociological study of a modern American city and its residents.
  • Q: What are you most excited about in 2018? Work, otherwise, or both!
  • A: I’m (cautiously) excited for the Midterm Elections and to see how they turn out. Also, I’m very excited to go to France in May. We’ll be starting in Paris and then traveling down to the French Riviera.



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