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Alameda County Family Justice Center

Justice is not served
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Meet the Executive Director - Sabrina Farrell

One of three daughters of West Indian immigrant parents, Sabrina always had dreams of becoming an attorney. Sabrina and her sisters had the benefit of being raised in the beautiful island of Trinidad in the Caribbean and as a teen they moved to Oakland, California. Sabrina and her family lived walking distance from Highland Hospital where Sabrina volunteered while in high school.

After graduating from high school Sabrina attended the University of California at Berkeley and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Education, with the goal of reaching young minds in a classroom. In 1995 Sabrina worked as a teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. After a year and a half, she realized that her initial passion of law still resonated. With a one-year old son Sabrina began her law school career at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She continued to work as a teacher during the day and attended law school classes every evening. But it was the summer law clerk program at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office that solidified Sabrina’s career choice as she saw the path where she could help victims and strengthen policy affecting her own community. To accelerate graduation Sabrina enrolled in summer law school classes at Golden Gate University School of Law. In 2000 Sabrina earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. With two young sons, 4 and 1 years old, and family by her side Sabrina was sworn into the California Bar Association and proudly began her career as an Alameda County Deputy District Attorney.

She has had a distinguished career as a Deputy District Attorney, serving in several branches of the DA’s Office. Sabrina prosecuted criminal felony cases, including jury trials of sexual assault, violent robberies, homicides, elder abuse and human trafficking. She worked as a dedicated vertical Elder Protection prosecutor for a combined five years, with a portion of that time in the branch of the Alameda County Family Justice Center andfound the experience positive, rewarding and enlightening. Sabrina also worked as a vertical prosecutor in the Human Trafficking Unit (H.E.A.T.) for a combined seven years. In these units Sabrina prosecuted cases from arraignment to trial and gave victims and their families continuity during the difficult criminal process. She also was recognized as a successful, tough prosecutor, and while in the H.E.A.T. Unit she navigated some of the most difficult high-profile cases. As tough as she was in court, she was kind and sensitive with victims. Sabrina realized the importance of achieving success for the victim through a collaborative approach of bringing non-profits, law enforcement and community-based organizations together.

In 2015, while in the Juvenile Division Sabrina was the designated prosecutor in a specially designed Alameda County ‘Girls Court’ where individual plans were created to rehabilitate and steer young girls away from the criminal justice system. She was also the Chair of SafetyNet, an Alameda County collaborative multi-disciplinary group that focuses on safety plans and case management for minors who are at-risk or have been victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation. In 2018 Sabrina was promoted to an Assistant District Attorney and was the supervising attorney of the Elder Protection and Real Estate Fraud Units.

As a fierce proponent of the collaboration model she makes ways for everyone to have a seat at the table and for everyone’s voice to be heard. As the Executive Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, Sabrina draws from her experience as a student, a volunteer, a teacher, a prosecutor and even when she worked as a waitress in her mom’s Caribbean restaurant on International Blvd in Oakland, and will continue to foster her strong principle that healing and support is necessary for all aspects of a family to have a healthy, happy community.