This film examines how in the absence of facilities like these, the system punishes children because of the crimes of their parents; and this affects their emotional development and could lead to a vicious circle of re-offending.
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Frances Valenzuela: The children have to suffer because their mothers have committed a crime. Often, I think, the tragedy is that the crimes are not -- they are not very serious. Irene Lofft: I'm here because I was in a high-speed chase with the police. Elizabeth Martinez: I'm here on a probation violation. Lynette Andress: I'm here on two possession cases. Frances Valenzuela: The women may only serve 6 months to 8 months in the state prison facility. However, those 8 months are very critical to what happens to that child. Alice Koh: It makes it difficult for the children because of the emotional trauma that they have to go through in separation with the mothers. It affects their school, it affects their health, it affects their development, and just in many areas that you can't even imagine. Irene Lofft: It's not so much the system as it is like my part, because I could have stopped when they wanted me to pull over, but it's me like I wasn't thinking about him, when I did what I was doing. It does hurt him. It does have an impact on his life, everything that I do, I've learned, has an impact on him. Frances Valenzuela: I think, I would say that our women are non-violent, non-serious offenders. They're property offenders. They deserve an opportunity. Certainly, it is different treatment than if they were in the prison, but we're doing it primarily for the children so that the children don't repeat the same cycle that their mother is involved, in the drugs, in the crime and so on. Because oftentimes if you look at the history of many of these women, their mothers, their families were substance abusers. They came from a dysfunctional situation. There's a high level of trauma in their backgrounds. Lynette Andress: When a child is taken away from a mother or a pair of parents for a reason, in that it's for that person to get their life right. You can't have a child around someone who's not going to do right. It's not good for the child. I think, that the system basically offers reunification, so I like this place. This helps you get your kids back and this also helps you keep your kids. So, this goes both ways on the part of child being taken away.

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