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. There are a variety of ways in which children and families can be affected by imprisonment including: disruption to child care arrangements, relationship breakdowns, financial loss and stigmatisation.
IPRT is concerned at the lack of data gathered on the current situation of children with a parent in prison in Ireland. Data would increase the current knowledge base on the issues of children with a parent in prison in Ireland and enable appropriate service provision. IPRT continues to 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.
19th March 2019
A new report by Crest (UK) indicates that revised estimates on the number of children impacted by parental imprisonment are over 50% higher than figures previously used.
6th September 2017
This ‘Principles of Action for Children with a Parent in Prison’ document is based on a project initiative undertaken by Dr. Fiona Donson, Dr. Aisling Parkes, School of Law, University College Cork, the Children’s Rights Alliance and IPRT.
10th August 2017
Lord Farmer’s report (2017) The Importance of Strengthening Prisoners' Family Ties to Prevent Reoffending and Reduce Intergenerational Crime was undertaken in collaboration with the charity Clinks and commissioned by the UK government. The report aimed to establish a link between a prisoner’s relationship with family and a reduction in reoffending. The report was part of the government’s strategy to overhaul prison policy, and according to Lord Farmer it is intended to be one of the biggest overhauls in a generation. The report was commissioned to act as a point of reference for the Secretary of State as he “rolls out the wider reform programme”.
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.
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 the Scottish Government will now be required to demonstrate that they can meet the standards set out in this National Performance Framework.
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.
28th February 2017
This guide aims to enable practitioners to support children affected by a family member’s offending, with a whole-family approach.
23rd January 2017
Booklets designed to help defendants and their families to prepare for the possibility of imprisonment.
23rd December 2016
Christmas is one of the most difficult times of year for prisoners and their families.
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.