Children in families with relative in prison suffer mental health problems

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, writes Clare

Young people often experience difficulties at school, affecting
their educational development and can find themselves isolated and
discriminated against within their communities, the report

Lucy Gampell, director of the pressure group, said: “Record
prison numbers mean more young people and families are affected by
imprisonment of a family member than ever before,”

“Our research shows that these are vulnerable young people who
need specialist non-judgemental support services,” she said.

At any time, an estimated seven per cent of the child
population, around 100,000 children, will have a father in jail,
and this figure rises when other close family members are taken
into consideration.

The research identified the main types of support young people
needed as someone to talk to in confidence outside the system, and
help with visiting and practical issues.

The report calls on the government to recognise the needs of
these young people and their families, especially given that strong
family ties can have a significant effect on the successful
resettlement of ex-prisoners.

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