Dr. Garcia-Hallett’s upbringing in Harlem inspired her to study the criminal legal system and the impact of incarceration on communities of color. This remained her motivation during her time at the Bronx High School of Science and throughout her undergraduate experience in the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter College. Her involvement in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program was a pivotal moment in understanding her educational options as a first-generation college student as well as the professional avenues to advocate for social change.
Now, as an Afro-Latina mother of three children, Dr. Garcia-Hallett has maintained a personal interest in mothers’ experiences before, during, and after incarceration. Her book,Invisible Mothers: Unseen Yet Hypervisible after Incarceration (University of California Press, 2022), is based on interviews she conducted throughout New York City with formerly incarcerated mothers of color. In her book, Dr. Garcia-Hallett explores how mothers of color navigate motherhood post-incarceration and how their experiences are shaped by the intersection of gender, motherhood, racial-ethnic background, and criminal record.
Although she was first drawn to this work from a young age, her interactions with justice-involved individuals motivate her to continue fighting the good fight.