More support needed for prisoners’ families, report says

Prisoners’ families suffer from high rates of depression, physical illness and poverty, a report has found.

Children experience particular hardship when family members are imprisoned, while the cost of supporting families rises by one third for social services and other agencies, according to research published yesterday by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The negative financial impact of imprisonment on families resulted in debt and housing disruption, while families of foreign national prisoners faced being permanently separated from their imprisoned relatives after deportation.

The research by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and the Institute of Psychiatry King’s College London found voluntary and statutory sector provision for prisoners’ relatives was limited and called for a review of services.

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