IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Children of Prisoners

Children and families coping with imprisonment are often described as the ‘hidden’ victims of the penal system because they must endure their own sentence, despite not having perpetrated any crime.

IPRT works towards the recognition and support of the rights and needs of children and families affected by imprisonment through research, advocacy, and awareness-raising activities.

Please note this section contains information about advocacy and developments, both national and international. Practical information for prisoners and their families is available here.

National Advocacy Strategy for Children with a Parent in Prison 6th July 2017

IPRT is collaborating with University College Cork and the Children’s Rights Alliance, in a project which has the overall aim of developing a National Advocacy Strategy for children with a parent in prison. Read more

Scotland: Families Outside Report on National Framework for Prison Visitors’ Centres in Scotland 19th June 2017

Families Outside have recently published their report on the National Performance Framework for Prison Visitors’ Centres in Scotland. In 2015 the Scottish Government announced that it would be providing £1.8 million over a three-year period to assist the work of Prison Visitor Centres. Any Prison Visitor Centre seeking funding from… Read more

Children of Prisoners Europe's (COPE) 2017 Campaign “Not My Crime, Still My Sentence” 2nd June 2017

On a given day, 800,000 children in the European Union alone have an imprisoned parent. Read here about COPE's annual cross-European campaign entitled ‘Not My Crime, Still My Sentence’ running throughout the month of June. Read more

UK: I-HOP ‘Supporting children and families affected by a family member’s offending – A Practitioner’s Guide’ 28th February 2017

This guide aims to enable practitioners to support children affected by a family member’s offending, with a whole-family approach. Read more

UK: Booklets for children with Parents in Custody- I-HOP 23rd January 2017

Booklets designed to help defendants and their families to prepare for the possibility of imprisonment. Read more

Temporary release from prison at Christmas 23rd December 2016

Christmas is one of the most difficult times of year for prisoners and their families. Read more

UK: Family Connections 16th December 2016

The Prison Reform Trust UK, in collaboration with the ICPR and the University of Birkbeck in London have released a report on the importance of family relations to prisoners on their release into the community. Read more

England & Wales: 'Life in Prison:Contact with families and friends' 5th September 2016

HM Inspectorate of Prisons has published a new findings report detailing the importance for prisoners of maintaining relationships with those outside prison. Read more

Youth justice issues at UNCRC 15th January 2016

Ireland is being examined at the UN in respect of its compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. IPRT's formal submissions were included as part of the Children’s Rights Alliance Parallel Report. Read more

Wales: Locked out - Children’s experiences of visiting a parent in prison. 4th December 2015

A new report on children of prisoners details the views of children in particular on the experience of visiting a parent in prison. Read more