Esther Lim has been the Jails Project Director at the ACLU of Southern California since December 2012, and was previously the Jails Project Coordinator since 2010. With the assistance of externs, interns and volunteers, Esther monitors overcrowding, conditions of confinement, and issues of violence within all Los Angeles County jail facilities.
In January 2011, Esther witnessed two deputies assault an inmate at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, while yelling, “Stop fighting! Stop resisting!” at the unconscious inmate. This was the first time that an ACLU monitor had witnessed deputies beating an inmate first-hand, which strongly supported the hundreds of reports of deputy-on-inmate violence received by the ACLU.
In September 2011, Esther’s declaration describing the incident was one of dozens of accounts of deputy on inmate and violence that were filed in the lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Rutherford v. Baca and presented in the 2011 Annual Report, “Cruel and Usual Punishment: How a Savage Gang of Deputies Controls LA County Jails.”
Esther was on the 2011 Executive Steering Committee for CDCR’s Corrections Standards Authority. She was a 2011 participant in the West Coast Regional Hearing for the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Esther worked in two juvenile correctional facilities in Norwalk and Chino, conducting individual and group therapy sessions with adolescent sex offenders and assisting them in preparing for parole board hearings and release. For several years she volunteered with the Orange County Probation Department’s Adult Sex Offender Unit.
Esther earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from CSU, Long Beach and graduated with High Honors with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California.