Alec Karakatsanis

A former public defender, Alec Karakatsanis is the founder of the Civil Rights Corps, an organization designed to advocate for racial justice and bring systemic civil rights cases on behalf of impoverished people. He was named the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice and was awarded the Stephen B. Bright Award for contributions to indigent defense in the South by Gideon’s Promise. The author of Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System (The New Press), he lives in Washington, DC.

News and Reviews


Listen to an interview with Usual Cruelty author Alec Karakatsanis on NPR’s All Things Considered.


Read an excerpt from Usual Cruelty about the money bail system in Time magazine.

The Unusual Fund for Usual Cruelty

The New Press is proud to support an innovative book donation concept, the brainchild of Alec Karakatsanis, author of 


Read a review of Usual Cruelty in Slate.


Books by Alec Karakatsanis

Usual Cruelty
The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System

Alec Karakatsanis

Alec Karakatsanis | The New Press


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