Assistant District Attorney, Suffolk County
Landmark class action against South Africa’s Department of Education
Bottom Line Student Achievement Award, June 2017
City of Boston Official Resolution: In recognition of Community Work with the District Attorney's Office, July 2013.
Certificate in Honor of Women's Day - La Semana Cultural y el Desfile Dominicano.
By: Alejandro Ramirez
Priscilla Guerrero spends her days in the courtroom, handling 200 criminal cases a year. Regardless, the 28-year-old Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney isn’t slowing down.
She is also the co-founder of the Suffolk DA’s office reading program at the Joseph Lee Elementary School in Dorchester that connects school kids and law enforcement; she involves herself in the community as often as possible. She’s especially focused on educating people about her job and how law enforcement works.
Guerrero was born in Queens, New York, and raised in various Boston neighborhoods. Many of those communities experience tension with law enforcement, adding another sense of duty to her job as a prosecutor.
“It’s so critical... for people of color to understand why they should become prosecutors– the discretion we hold in the courtroom, the power we hold in the courtroom, and how that can be used to help our communities,” she said.
She works outside the courtroom to build relationships in the community by mentoring high school and college students and reading to elementary school students. She’s also on the board of the Boston Preparatory Charter School.
Guerrero has been with the District Attorney’s office for 8 years. While working full-time, she enrolled in Suffolk Law School; she still graduated a semester early in 2016.
While at Suffolk, she took an internship in South Africa. There, she helped residents of one of the country’s poorest communities fight for better living conditions and better schools.
“We had a landmark class action [lawsuit] against the Department of Education for the hiring of teachers, for the supply of chairs, desks – the basics every child should have, including toilets.” She also helped a child of an immigrant couple acquire citizenship; despite being born in South Africa, the government had denied him the right.
Above all, her passion is working with at-risk youth who are involved in the criminal justice system.
“I hope to continue this work regardless of where my professional endeavors take me,” she said.