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.
4th June 2013
Barnardo’s has published a report on two pilot community services working with children and families with a parent in prison, which it ran in Bristol and Devon from 2010-2011.
20th November 2012
A roundup of media reactions and discussions on issues raised in a new IPRT report, '"Picking Up the Pieces": The rights and Needs of Children and Families Affected by Imprisonment.'
19th November 2012
IPRT launched a comprehensive report on the rights and needs of children and families of people in prison on 19th Nov 2012. The Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, will launch the report.
19th November 2012
This IPRT research report details the rights, needs and experiences of families and children of prisoners. It follows extensive consultations with children, families, support services and relevant agencies.
16th November 2012
IPRT will publish a new comprehensive report on the rights and needs of children and families of prisoners on Monday, 19th November 2012. It is the culmination of six months' research, including consultations with families and children of prisoners, along with service providers and agencies.
22nd October 2012
A report has been published by Scottish charity 'Families Outside' on the role which schools may have in supporting those families affected by imprisonment.
18th May 2010
As Ireland’s prison population grows, more children are having to cope with the stigma and loneliness of a parent in jail, writes Sheila Wayman in 'The Irish Times'.
23rd September 2009
Subtitled "In search of the best interests of the child when a parent is imprisoned", this paper analyses the approach of courts in a number of jurisdictions.
28th June 2002
The Centre for Social and Educational Research, DIT, released a report investigating the effects of parental imprisonment on children. Despite the fact that those directly affected by imprisonment far exceed the number of those who are actually serving custodial sentences the topic has to date received little formal attention in Ireland.