Tifanei comes to Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area from Disability Rights California, where she worked as a Staff Attorney for the Mental Health Practice Group. There she litigated cases regarding dangerous jail conditions, pushed for reducing jail populations, and advocated for local government to prioritize community-led mental health services in lieu of incarceration. Tifanei led investigations of juvenile halls, calling on facility administrators to abolish the use of pepper spray on children and to center the needs of children of color with disabilities. And she provided direct services to people with intersecting marginalized identities and complex claims, including transgender youth with mental health needs who face extreme isolation in jail.
Tifanei is a Law for Black Lives 2019 Fellow. She has served as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement and as a Board Member of National Lawyers’ Guild Sacramento Chapter. She is also a founding member of the Decarcerate Sacramento coalition, which successfully organized to halt Sacramento County from accepting a multi-million dollar lease-revenue-bond from the state to expand the county’s jail capacity without a comprehensive plan to reduce the jail population.
Tifanei has designed and led trainings on the intersection of race, gender, and disability for attorneys, advocates, and the media. Ask her about it and she is sure to tell you that disability justice, a practice that examines how disability intersects with other forms of oppression, is an essential component of racial justice.