Irish Penal Reform Trust

Piecing It Together: Supporting Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison in Ireland

15th July 2021

Piecing It Together: Supporting Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison in Ireland assesses progress on a series of recommendations made by IPRT in "Picking up the Pieces" in 2012. These recommendations were made to Government, the Courts and Courts Service, the Irish Prison Service, the Department of Education, and media, among others.

While the new report details some pockets of good practice in Ireland, it highlights a number of significant gaps, including: limited national recognition of the rights of children with a family member in prison; the continued lack of any national support services for these children; visiting conditions that are not child-friendly; limited data and research; and stigmatisation of these children and their families.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the 2012 report, IPRT calls for the implementation of these outstanding recommendations, as well as the new recommendations made in this report, by the relevant assigned stakeholders.

The recommendations made in the report are grouped into 7 overarching recommendations:

  1. Increase National Recognition of the Rights of Children with a Family Member in Prison
  2. Establish a National Support Service for Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison
  3. Improve Prison Visiting Procedures and Conditions for Children and Families
  4. Enshrine in Law and Practice the Principle of “Prison as a Last Resort” for Primary Caregivers
  5. Improve Data Recording on Children Affected by Imprisonment
  6. Challenge Stigmatisation of Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison
  7. Promote and Facilitate Family Involvement during the Period of Imprisonment

Piecing it Together: Supporting Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison in Ireland is available to read here.

This project is kindly supported by the Katharine Howard Foundation and St Stephen's Green Trust.

 

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

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