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Department ofSociology


Patrick Lopez-Aguado

Patrick Lopez-Aguado

Patrick Lopez-Aguado Recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences

Patrick Lopez-Aguado awarded the Public Intellectual Award

Public Intellectual Award
In recognition of the effective, far-reaching, and timely use of scholarly expertise to address issues of major public concern in a way that promotes reasoned analysis and humane understanding.

Patrick Lopez-Aguado's research and advocacy extend far beyond the confines of the
classroom, delving into the lives of young Latino men who are gang-identified, shedding light on their identity formation, community building, and the transformative journey they undertake during and after periods of incarceration.

He has lent his expertise to the court system, offering critical insights and expert testimony to challenge the prevailing narrative around gang affiliation. His work aims to combat the excessive sentencing that often plagues offenders, advocating for a fairer, more just legal system. For example, and drawing on his scholarly work, Patrick has penned a compelling policy paper titled "The Case for Restricting Gang Enhancement in California" published by The Appeal, an influential nonprofit news organization focused on criminal justice issues. In this publication, he eloquently articulates the flaws in the process of identifying gang affiliation and the lasting implications of such designations.

Patrick's dedication to transformative change does not stop at the written word. He takes his commitment a step further by stepping into the courtroom, providing expert testimony that challenges conventional notions and highlights the complexities of gang affiliation identification. His presence and contributions have become instrumental in aiding public defenders in Santa Clara County and Alameda County in their pursuit of justice.

His work extends beyond the pages of papers and courtrooms, resonating deeply with those who aspire to make a meaningful impact on society. Patrick's relentless dedication to using his scholarly work as a catalyst for social change sets a remarkable example for his colleagues, students, and the wider community.