Alejandra Gutierrez

Alejandra Gutierrez

  • Hosted by National Center for Youth Law
  • Sponsored by The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
  • Service location Oakland, California
  • Law school University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Alejandra (she/her/hers) will advocate for youth funneled into the juvenile justice system in a racially disparate manner by changing systemic responses from punitive to a public health, community-centered approach.

Each year, approximately 40,000 youth are arrested in California. The current punitive response has created alarming racial disparities and perpetuated cycles of incarceration, impacting the lives of our most vulnerable children and youth. In particular, youth living in the Central Valley and Inland Empire regions are excessively and disproportionately policed, criminalized, and punished. Groundbreaking juvenile justice laws recently enacted in California are not implemented effectively or with fidelity in local jurisdictions, resulting in children and youth being unlawfully cast into the juvenile justice system.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Alejandra will partner with youth, community-based leaders, and criminal justice stakeholders to shift systemic responses in line with the current transformative era in juvenile justice in California. She will provide legal training and technical assistance to local courts, system administrators, and service providers to support implementation of new laws. She will facilitate strategy development with youth and community-based organizations on policy implementation, coalition-building, resource-allocation, and bolstering the direct legal representation of youth. Her project will ensure that safeguards are put in place to protect the rights of youth and help them move toward a brighter future.


Morrison & Foerster Partners With Equal Justice Works To Support Recent Law School Graduates With A Passion For Public Service

The young people I have worked alongside showed me they are intelligent, creative, and have the ability to grow into powerful leaders for social change. By protecting them, we will help them live their full potential, transform our communities, and create healing opportunities for all the future generations to come.

Alejandra Gutierrez /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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