Stigma fears over targeting strategy

Campaigners have raised fears that government plans to target
prisoners’ children for prevention work could lead to them being
labelled and stigmatised.

A Home Office spokesperson said that as part of the government’s
prevent and deter programme, young offenders in the youth justice
system, young people at risk of committing crime and children at
risk of social exclusion would be targeted with early intervention
support services.

Campaign group Action for Prisoners’ Families, while pleased the
government had recognised prisoners’ children as a vulnerable
group, believed the measures could result in children being

Director Lucy Gampbell said any plans to track prisoners’ children
should only be done with the co-operation and consent of a parent
or guardian. “These children have committed no crime, yet they are
being labelled as out of control. They are, in fact, a very
vulnerable and excluded group in need of early support.”

Paul Cavadino, chief executive of rehabilitation agency Nacro,
warned that help should be given in a way that did not stigmatise
families or label children as potential criminals “otherwise it
could reinforce the risk that they will follow in their parents’

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