Garcia-Hallett's research focuses on the impact of incarceration on communities of color. Overarching themes in Dr. Garcia-Hallett's writings include how mothers of color navigate motherhood post-incarceration, and how their reentry into the community is shaped by mothers’ treatment and experiences at the intersection of gender, motherhood, racial-ethnic background, and criminal record.
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Bases her interviews with African American, Latina, and West Indian mothers throughout New York City about their experiences navigating motherhood after incarceration.
Finds that mentors’ enactment of family roles, through language and behaviors of fictive kinship, helped formerly incarcerated women build a support network. Characterizes the women’s fictive kinships was not void of some mentor-mentee separation for their mutual self-interests.
Demonstrates how motherhood and maternal identities held more significance in some social circumstances, contributing to women’s involvement in the criminal legal system and presenting a variety of challenges in some women’s pathways out of crime.