‘Young parents need more family contact’

Young parents in prison should have more family contact to
prevent their children from becoming the next generation of
criminals, says a report by the Prison Reform Trust.

“We need to make sure today’s sons and daughters of prisoners
don’t end up tomorrow’s offenders”, Cherie Booth QC writes in the
report’s foreword.

The report says prisoners are being placed further away from
home because of increasing prison overcrowding, despite the Home
Office saying that good family contact reduces reoffending.

About 150,000 children have a parent in prison, and nearly
25,000 prisoners are held more than 50 miles from their home town,
says the report. Home Office research says a quarter of young
offenders are fathers and 39 per cent of female young offenders are

“It is not smart to put young parents in jail if this results in
them losing their homes and their children being taken into care,”
said spokeperson for the trust Helen Atwell.

“Society is better served by low level offenders serving their
punishment in the community.”

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