Alexandra came to the University of Essex after serving as an Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz in their Department of Sociology. She worked in the fields of criminal justice and drug policy reform for a number of years, at the American Civil Liberties Union's Drug Law Reform project, the Drug Policy Alliance's Office of Legal Affairs, and then at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, a community-based public defender office in New York City. She has continued to practice as a sentencing mitigation specialist. She has served on the boards of several organizations, including the New York State Defenders Association, Drama Club (which provides theater programming to incarcerated youth), Reentry Columbia, and Literacy for Incarcerated Teens. She was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and served as a Soros Justice Advocacy fellow. In 2017, she was a research fellow at Yale Law School, working on a study about the role of frontline workers in New York's criminal justice system. Alexandra's forthcoming book, Trapped in a Vice: the Consequences of Confinement for Young People, explores the consequences of a juvenile justice system that is aimed at promoting change in the lives of young people, yet ultimately relies upon tools and strategies that enmesh them in a system that they struggle to move beyond.