Having lived in South Central Los Angeles for some time, I find the constant presence of LAPD officers both alarming and intriguing. I understand the need for safety but I am more interested in how this constant presence and pressure affects the local community, their children and the greater growth of the community. Typically the public focuses on scrutinizing crime but all too often society forgets to take into account how the presence of crime and thus the constant presence of law enforcement authority affects the community members at all times, how that cyclical momentum affects the youth in that community, and how it may alter their paths of development.

This video details a discussion with Tammy, mother of 6 boys in South Central Los Angeles. Tammy's husband was incarcerated for 10 years to life, and today after 30 years is still in prison. I was interested to find out from Tammy and other single women about their experiences raising children in the South Central Los Angeles with the constant pressures of law enforcement officials and crime, as well as balancing life with a spouse with a long term incarceration.

Tammy shared her experiences openly with me, sharing personal stories of police raids into her apartment after an easter party for the kids in 2000, as well as the tragic death of her son from a drive-by shooting. Tammy was an insightful subject for this interview. She, as well as all the families that struggle with a loved one who has been incarcerated, is incredibly strong, willed and positive, often explaining to me that no matter how difficult things get, she must be the strength for her husband and the protector for her children at all times.

Thank you to Amalia with the Los Angeles Office of Restorative Justice for welcoming me, and for their support for the community, their advocacy for changes in the criminal justice system on the County, State and Federal levels, and their outreach to educate the community about the system and its affect on those involved in it.

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