Yale senior Malina Simard-Halm to continue study as Gates-Cambridge Scholar
Malina Simard-Halm concentrated her studies at Yale on the ethics and politics of the criminal justice system, with a particular emphasis on sentencing and alternatives to incarceration. She has worked with the Federal Public Defenders, the Legal Action Center (an advocacy organization for individuals with criminal records and substance abuse disorders), the New Haven Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, and Yale Students for Private Prison Divestment. She is one of the first children born to two gay fathers through assisted reproduction, and advocated for LGBTQ families in the courtroom and other settings. She serves as a member of the board of directors of the national nonprofit COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gay Everywhere).
She will pursue an M.Phil. in criminology at Murray Edwards College (New Hall) at Cambridge.
“While at Cambridge, I seek to further examine the limits of individual culpability in criminal sentencing, especially as they relate to racial and economic marginalization,” says Simard-Halm. “By integrating sentencing theory with the study of crime’s causes, I aspire to show that precluding identity markers of adversity from sentencing guidelines can often lead to more unjust outcomes. … I could not be more honored to be joining the Gates Cambridge community to work and learn with others committed to thoughtful and effective social change.”