Soffiyah Elijah is the Executive Director of the Alliance of Families for Justice. Established in 2016 in NY, the mission of the Alliance of Families for Justice (AFJ) is to support families of incarcerated people and people with criminal records, empower them as advocates and enable 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 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 activism, and is a frequent presenter at national and international forums on criminal justice policy and human rights issues. An accomplished advocate, attorney, scholar, and educator, Ms. Elijah has practiced criminal and family law for more than 30 years. Prior to leading the Correctional Association, 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.