Sharon Brett is Legal Director at the ACLU of Kansas. Prior to joining the ACLU, Sharon was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Criminal Justice Policy Program (CJPP) at Harvard Law School, where she conducted policy research and advocacy related to the criminal legal system. Sharon’s work at CJPP focused on how states impose and collect fines and fees, and the role of government actors in perpetuating our nation’s wealth-based systems of punishment.
Before her time in Cambridge, Sharon spent five years as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section. There, she focused on complex investigations and impact litigation regarding police misconduct and unconstitutional conditions in prisons and jails. Sharon spearheaded several pattern or practice investigations of law enforcement agencies and wrote amicus briefs on a variety of criminal legal issues, including the criminalization of poverty, medical care for transgender prisoners, and unconstitutional monetary bail schemes.
Sharon received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where she participated in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic and held summer positions with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the ACLU’s National Prison Project. Following law school, Sharon clerked for the Hon. John M. Facciola (ret) on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Her undergraduate degree is also from the University of Michigan, in psychology and criminal justice.
Sharon resides in Lawrence, KS, where she also teaches as a Lecturer at the University of Kansas School of Law.