Children with a prisoner in the family are more likely to suffer
from significant mental health problems, according to a report from
Action for Prisoners’ Families published this week.
Young people often experience difficulties at school, affecting
their educational development, and can find themselves isolated and
discriminated against within their communities, the report
“Record prison numbers mean more young people and families are
affected by imprisonment of a family member than ever before,” said
director of the pressure group, Lucy Gampell.
“Our research shows that these are vulnerable young people who need
specialist, non-judgemental support services.”
At any time, an estimated seven per cent of the child population,
some 100,000 children, will have a father in jail.
Despite the problems that the families of prisoner face, many of
the young people in the research wanted to maintain a relationship
with their imprisoned relative, but often faced barriers.
The research identified the main types of support young people
wanted, including someone to talk to in confidence outside the
system, help with visiting, and access to information.
The report is calling on the government to recognise the needs of
these young people and their families.
– Report from www.prisonersfamilies.org.uk