National leader in restorative justice
sujatha baliga’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to victims and persons accused of crime. The convergence of her interest in Tibetan ideals of justice and her work with women and children who’ve suffered abuse drew her to law school. After several years as an appellate public defender in New Mexico and New York City, she relocated to California to work on capital cases.
In 2008, sujatha was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship, which she used to begin a successful restorative juvenile diversion program in Alameda County. Sujatha has served as a consultant to the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, and has taught restorative justice at colleges and law schools. She is regularly invited to address groups of prisoners and restorative justice programs about her personal experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse and her path to forgiveness. A frequent guest lecturer at academic institutions and conferences, she has also testified before legislative bodies on proposed legislation impacting criminal and civil penalties for sexual assault and abuse. Today, sujatha is the director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice, where she assists communities in implementing restorative justice alternatives to juvenile detention and zero-tolerance school discipline policies. sujatha is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Paragate Project, an organization dedicated to exploring forgiveness.
sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has held federal clerkships with the Honorable William K. Sessions, III, Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and with the Honorable Martha Vázquez. An emerging national voice in restorative justice, she was honored as Northeastern University Law School’s Daynard Fellow, and has been a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and her work has been profiled in The New York Times Magazine. sujatha’s personal and research interests include victims’ voices in restorative practices, the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, and Tibetan notions of justice.