Soffiyah Elijah

Soffiyah Elijah

Soffiyah Elijah is the Executive Director of Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ).  Established in 2016 in NY, its mission is to support families of incarcerated people and people with criminal records, empower them as advocates and mobilize them to marshal their voting power to achieve systemic change. 

Prior to founding AFJ, Ms. Elijah was the Executive Director of the Correctional Association of NY (CANY) where she was the first woman and the first person of color to lead the 170 year old organization. Ms. Elijah has dedicated her life to human rights and social justice, and is a frequent presenter at national and international forums on criminal justice policy and human rights issues.   

Prior to leading CANY Ms. Elijah served as Deputy Director and Clinical Instructor at the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School. Before moving to Harvard, she was a member of the faculty and Director and Supervising Attorney of the Defender Clinic at the City University of New York School of Law.  Ms. Elijah has also worked as a Supervising Attorney at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, a Staff Attorney at the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society, and in private practice. 

She can be reached at


The Criminalization of Race and Color  

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