Irish Penal Reform Trust

Children of Prisoners

Children and families coping with imprisonment are often described as the ‘hidden’ victims of the penal system because they must endure their own sentence, despite not having perpetrated any crime. There are a variety of ways in which children and families can be affected by imprisonment including: disruption to child care arrangements, relationship breakdowns, financial loss and stigmatisation.

IPRT works towards the recognition and support of the rights and needs of children and families affected by imprisonment through research, advocacy, and awareness-raising activities. This includes an exciting three-year project (commenced in mid-2020) on families of prisoners, aiming to reduce harm for children and families affected by imprisonment, with a particular focus on reducing female imprisonment. We’re very grateful to our funders, Katharine Howard Foundation and St Stephen’s Green Trust, for supporting such a timely piece of work. You can read more about the network of organisations working in the area set up under the project on actionforfamilies.ie.

Please note this section contains information about advocacy and developments, both national and international. Practical information for prisoners and their families is available here.

“This is Me”: A Child Impact Assessment toolkit

21st February 2023

A practical resource for practitioners, and a visionary resource for policy makers, from the Prison Reform Trust UK to support children with a mother in the criminal justice system

IPRT welcomes the reinstatement of weekly physical prison visits in time for Christmas

12th December 2022

Media release: The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) welcomed the news of the reinstatement of weekly physical visits in prisons in Ireland.

IPRT Recruitment: Project Coordinator: Children and Families Initiative

12th September 2022

*The deadline for applications has passed.*

IPRT Submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

15th August 2022

This IPRT submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child makes 22 recommendations relating to child justice and children with a family member in prison in Ireland.

IPRT Submission to the 70th Pre-Sessional Working Group of the CESCR

7th January 2022

This is the Irish Penal Reform Trust’s first submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The submission makes the overarching point that Ireland is over-reliant on imprisonment as a response to social issues and socio-economic disadvantage.

IPRT Submission to the Draft State Report to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

10th November 2021

This submission invites the Department to closely consider the key findings and recommendations of IPRT’s 'Piecing It Together: Supporting Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison in Ireland' report before finalising the State Report.

UK: Counting the Cost of Maternal Imprisonment

25th October 2021

This research found that a deep distrust of local authority social services, compounded by poor communication and information sharing, forms a significant barrier to engaging mothers with services that could help prevent them from offending and support prolonged desistance.

UK: Motherhood Challenged

18th October 2021

This executive summary of doctoral research by Dr Lucy Baldwin is based on in-depth research with 43 criminalised mothers, recording their experiences from their early lives, contact with the criminal justice system, prison and release.

Action for Children and Families of Prisoners submission to the Review of Prison Rules

14th October 2021

The IPRT co-chaired Action for Children and Families of Prisoners network made a submission to the consultation on the review of the Prison Rules 2007, with a specific focus on sections that relate to the work of the network.

UK: “Maternal Imprisonment Polling Shows Clear Support for Better Services in the Community”

28th September 2021

Crest Advisory recently polled 2,500 members of the British public in order to assess attitudes regarding maternal imprisonment. 56% of those surveyed believed that the funding for 500 new prison places should be redirected to fund support services for women instead.

Our work is supported by

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

Subscribe

Legal

Contact us

This website uses cookies to provide a good browsing experience

Some are necessary to help our website work properly and can't be switched off, and some are optional. Click on "Choose cookies" below for more information on the cookies being used on this website. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available. You can manage your preferences by visiting “Cookie preferences" at the bottom of any page.

This website uses cookies to provide a good browsing experience

Some are necessary to help our website work properly and can't be switched off, and some are optional. Please choose the cookies to allow below. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available. You can manage your preferences by visiting “Cookie preferences" at the bottom of any page.

Your cookie preferences have been saved.