Crystal M. Hayes, MSW, is interested in using qualitative tools to explore the birthing experiences of incarcerated pregnant women as a human-rights, feminist, and reproductive justice issue. She seeks to specifically understand the physiological and psychological implications of shackling incarcerated pregnant women and girls and its impact on their childbearing experiences and behavioral mental health. Crystal is committed to promoting the need for social work political advocacy on issues of reproductive justice and mass incarceration, particularly as it relates to women and girls of color. She works closely with local, national, and international advocacy and human rights groups working on reproductive justice and anti-shackling campaigns.
Crystal is the 2017 recipient of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Council on Social Work Education Minority Doctoral Fellowship Program. In 2016, she was the recipient of the White House Equity Research Grant on Women and Girls of Color. Crystal has an MSW from the Smith College School for Social Work and she completed her undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College. She currently teaches at the Smith College School for Social Work and North Carolina State University in the Department of Social Work.