Irish Penal Reform Trust

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Pilot Parenting Programme in Limerick Prison

16th October 2015

A new parenting programme piloted in Limerick prison is featured on the Sean O'Rourke programme on RTE Radio one.

Children of Prisoners: Not My Crime, Still My Sentence

2nd June 2015

The 2015 Children of Prisoners Europe June campaign, “Not my crime, still my sentence”, aims to inform, raise awareness about and draw attention to the rights and needs of children separated from a parent in prison.

Launch of the European Journal of Parental Imprisonment

27th March 2015

A new journal to examine the issues relating to children affected by parental imprisonment

Scotland: Support for Children (Impact of Parental Imprisonment) (Scotland) Bill

19th February 2015

Labour MSP Mary Fee has launched a Bill to support the children of prisoners

UCC: Changing Mindsets, Changing Minds: Conference on the Rights of Children of Offenders

5th December 2014

UCC School of Law are hosting a one day international Conference of an interdisciplinary nature highlighting the rights of children affected by family imprisonment.

UK: Report published on community services for children with a parent in prison

4th June 2013

Barnardo’s has published a report on two pilot community services working with children and families with a parent in prison, which it ran in Bristol and Devon from 2010-2011.

Roundup: Reactions to Report on Children and Families of Prisoners

20th November 2012

A roundup of media reactions and discussions on issues raised in a new IPRT report, '"Picking Up the Pieces": The rights and Needs of Children and Families Affected by Imprisonment.'

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

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