Research Abstracts: Children of prisoners

Title: A process evaluation of collaborative planning for children of prisoners
Author: Abram, Faye; Linhorst, Donald
Reference: Administration in Social Work, 32(1), 2008, pp39-54

Data on the children of prisoners in Missouri were collected through observation of meetings, content analysis of documents, surveys of team members and staff interviews. The findings suggest six lessons for collaborative work: realistic goals a clear purpose a system to track progress towards goals a structure, with clear roles, appropriate to the task creative methods for ensuring the attendance of key parties and evaluation of the outcomes of the planning process as well as the achievement of goals.

Title: Time for Families: positive outcomes for children and families of offenders using Ormiston services in prisons and the community
Author: Ormiston Children and Families Trust
Publisher: Ormiston Children and Families Trust, 2006

Time for Families is an initiative by the Eastern Region Families Partnership to promote awareness and effective responses to the needs of children of prisoners. The programme is managed by Ormiston and funded through a collaboration between ERFP, the Lankelly Chase Foundation, the Prison Service and Ormiston Trust. The trust provides: visiting and contact opportunities for children to spend time with their imprisoned parent/carer or family member support and information for children and families, including specialist community programmes in two counties accredited courses for parents in prisons to explore how they can best maintain a role in their child’s life resource material to support families and those who work with them and a telephone helpline as part of the Prisoners’ Families Helpline. Time for Families is working to: promote the importance of the role of families in sentence planning and resettlement and raise awareness of the needs of children and young people affected by imprisonment.

Title: Interorganizational collaboratives for children of prisoners: one that succeeds, another that struggled
Author: Abram, Faye et al
Reference: Journal of Community Practice, 13(1), 2005, pp31-47

Nearly 1.5 million children in the US have parents who are incarcerated. These children are at-risk for juvenile delinquency, failure in school, and residential instability. Efforts to locate and provide services to these children require co-operation from social institutions that historically have not worked together. This article describes two collaboratives to address the needs of these children. One has largely succeeded, while the other did not meet all its goals.

Title: Prisoners’ families and the regulation of contact
Author: Brooks-Gordon, Belinda; Bainham, Andrew
Reference: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 26(3), Oct 2004, pp263-280.

This article explores Prison Service policy and the impact of case law on the rights of prisoners to family contact. First, state provision and policy for prisoner-family contact is reviewed and the constraints imposed on contact are explored. Drawing on domestic case law and challenges in the European Court of Human Rights the nature of prisoners’ rights is explored. This analysis shows that, although fathers’ rights for indirect contact are upheld, their rights are not respected as much as those of mothers in cases of direct contact and also that men unable to establish family life have their rights eroded.


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