Drawing on interviews conducted throughout New York City, Black feminist criminologist Janet Garcia-Hallett shares the traditionally silenced voices of formerly incarcerated mothers of color and exposes the difficult realities they face when reentering the community and navigating motherhood. Patriarchy, misogyny, and systemic racism marginalize and criminalize these mothers, pushing them into the grasp of penal control and forcing them to live in a state of disempowerment and hypersurveillance after imprisonment.
Armed with critical insight, Invisible Mothers demonstrates the paradox of visibility: social institutions treat mothers of color as invisible by restricting them from equal opportunities, and simultaneously as hypervisible by penalizing them for the ways they survive their marginalization. This thoughtful book reveals and contests their marginalization and highlights how mothers of color perform motherwork on their own terms.
Janet Garcia-Hallett, an Afro-Latina mother and a product of Harlem, is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven's Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences.