ACLU executive ready to lead attorney general’s office in Mississippi


By Othor Cain,



Jennifer Riley Collins, who currently serves as the executive director for the ACLU in Mississippi, announced to a standing room only audience that she is seeking the state’s top legal post. Collins shared with well wishers that included family, friends, church members and colleagues that she is running for attorney general.

A native of Meridian, Miss, Collins has an extensive military background that she says has prepared her for such a time as this. “In 1985, I lifted my hand then and swore to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I went on to serve as a U.S. Army intelligence officer for 32 years,” she said. “I lift my hand today and promise that when elected, I will protect and serve this state and its wonderful and beautiful people…I will be the attorney general who serves and protects the best and legal interest of all Mississippians.”

Collins, 53, currently resides in Clinton, Miss, and has been the executive director of the ACLU since 2013. “Every time I’ve been away from this state, my home, I’ve longed to come back,” she said. “There’s no place like home.” Collins has dedicated her life to protecting Mississippians and striving for justice. She said her legal career has put her on the front lines fighting for criminal justice reform, juvenile justice, poverty and voting rights.

If elected, she said she will work to protect vulnerable populations, combat the opioid epidemic, strengthen protections for victims of crime and fight for working people. 

She received her undergraduate degree from Alcorn State University. She received a Master’s degree in criminal justice administration from the University of Central Texas and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law.

Collins has coordinated legislative advocacy efforts aimed at reforming Mississippi’s juvenile justice system and de-institutionalizing at-risk youth. She has authored a number of professional publications and training materials.

Collins is a classic example of what success is…’when preparation meets opportunity.’

See photos page 16.

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