Chiraag Bains (2005 Fellow) for Marshall Project: "How Immigrants Make Communities Safer"
Leadership in Government Fellow, Open Society Foundations
Chiraag Bains is an immigrant from Canada
Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at Harvard University
Chiraag Bains is a senior fellow at Harvard Law School's Criminal Justice Policy Program and a Leadership in Government fellow with the Open Society Foundations. He was a federal prosecutor and senior official at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division from 2010 to 2017.
Chiraag was born in Ottawa, Canada, to parents of Indian descent; he became a naturalized citizen in 2000. His parents currently reside in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
At the Civil Rights Division, Chiraag served as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, where he focused on criminal justice reform, including ensuring constitutional policing; reducing the use of solitary confinement; ending unlawful fine, fee, and bail practices; and combating the criminalization of homelessness. He co-authored the Justice Department's report on the unlawful practices of the Ferguson Police Department and Municipal Court. In addition, Chiraag manages the Division’s oversight portfolio and helps review the Division’s criminal, housing rights, and appellate litigation. Previously, he was a trial attorney in the Division's Criminal Section, where he prosecuted police misconduct, hate crimes, and interference with access to reproductive health clinics. Chiraag also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the sex offense and domestic violence unit of the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Prior to joining DOJ, Chiraag clerked for Judge Karen Nelson Moore on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Nancy Gertner on the federal district court in Boston. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an Articles Editor on the Harvard Law Review; his M.Phil. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship; and his B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale College, where he was a Harry S. Truman Scholar. Chiraag also completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in New York City.