As an intern with ACLU-WV, NIKKI ZINZUWADIA helped spearhead research establishing a health crisis in West Virginia jails.
A Penn Senior and Mitchell Center Undergraduate Fellow, Nikki completed an internship at the ACLU of West Virginia in 2020, where she published "Racial Disparities in Jails and Prisons: Covid-19’s Impact on theBlack Community." The article was recently cited in the Harvard Law Review (see here). Nikki also took the lead in drafting an ACLU-WV report, Overcrowded and Deadly: West Virginia's Jails are in Crisis.
In her reporting, Nikki focuses on the high death rate in West Virginia's regional jails, a problem that pre-dated the Covid-19 pandemic, but which has certainly been exacerbated by it. Black prisoners are disproportionately affected, and Nikki calls on the state to do more to "address the racial disparities within our criminal law and health care systems that continue to affect West Virginia’s Black population."