Teenagers need more help over prison relatives

Nine out of 10 teenagers with relatives in prison are not asked
how they are coping with the ordeal, according to a survey carried
out by the Federation of Prisoner’s Families Support Groups.

No-one’s Ever Asked Me sought the views of 50 teenagers
with a parent or sibling in prison. It revealed that 89 per cent of
respondents said nobody had asked them how they were dealing with
the imprisonment.

Most of the young people said they needed to talk to someone
confidentially and wanted to be kept informed about what was going
on with their relatives inside prison.

The survey also found most young people face difficulties at
home, school and in the wider community when a relation goes into
prison. The majority of respondents said teachers had acted
differently towards them and they had lost friends.

Lucy Gampell, director of the FPFSG, said: “This research has
opened the door to a hidden and isolated group of vulnerable young
people. The challenge is to act on this and continue to ensure
their voices are listened to.”

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal reform,
said the damage done to families when a relative is imprisoned can
last for generations. “It is especially bad for young people when
they are going through big changes, the damage can be irreparable,”
she said.

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