While this single mother worked to support her family, she says her children were left home with little supervision. "I could barely afford to pay bills, nevertheless a babysitter," she says. "The trouble was here. It was all around, so you couldn't avoid it."
Mary says her son became involved with drugs and started committing crimes when he was just 11 or 12 years old. "He figured that doing crime, selling drugs was a way out...a way to get the things that we couldn't afford," she says.
Looking back, Mary says she wishes there were some things she'd done differently. "I just wasn't aware of the options that were out there," she says. "I didn't have the resources. I didn't have the education. I didn't have the support."
With the right guidance and resources, Mary says her son may have done something positive with his life. "He has goals and things that he wanted to do," she says. "He wanted to be a rapper. He wanted to write books."