TUC Sponsored Programs

Project 43013663

Project ID:4301 3663
Project Title:Formerly Incarcerated Women and Their Reintegration Into the Community
Principal Investigator(s):Marta Lopez-Garza
Sponsoring Agency:The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation
Award Amount:$12,000
Start Date:04/01/07
End Date:08/31/07
Abstract:Since the summer of 2006, I have been working on a documentary film based on my sociological research on formerly incarcerated women living in three Los Angles area neighborhoods: Long Beach, South Central, and Boyle Heights. The purpose of the documentary is to chronicle challenges these women have faced and continue facing in the transition back into their communities after incarceration, and to examine the conditions under which they attempt to rebuild their lives. The project highlights the means by which female ex-offenders attempt to live productive lives, and support themselves and their children; while also situating the women's experiences within the wider context of their support networks, and the governmental and bureaucratic demands placed on them.

The research portion of the project began in Spring 2005, at which time I employed an ethnographic research method and incorporated a feminist epistemological approach (personal/oral narratives, life histories, and visuals). The outcome of that research is countless hours of video footage and taped interviews, along with numerous photographs.

This raw research data is currently being used as the basis for a documentary. Through the lens of a camera, I am recording the lives of women who have returned to their respective communities and now face the culturally institutionalized gauntlet of suspicion and animosity. The film follows the women in the dailines of their lives (e.g., searching for employment, attending meetings, caring for their children) as well as in their activism on their own behalf. Aside from serving as an educational tool for students and a scholarly contribution to the social sciences and the humanities , and anticipated outcome of the documentary is to facilitate change in public policy, be presenting this information to elected officials and policy makers.
Links:Faculty webpage of the Principal Investigator Marta Lopez-Garza's (http://www.csun.edu/~ws20500/Faculty-Webpage_Lopez-Garza.htm)