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Action for Prisoners’ Families Working together – Maintaining familiy ties. Sam Hart 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Action for Prisoners’ Families Working together – Maintaining familiy ties. Sam Hart 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Action for Prisoners’ Families Working together – Maintaining familiy ties. Sam Hart 1

2  Every prisoner's and offender’s family should get the support they’d like and need  Provides advice, information and training to members (membership is free)  Provides members with opportunities to network, share experiences, concerns and successes  Listens to prisoners’ families  Promotes, develops and supports services and resources that families need or would like.  Lobbies for improved services that affect the well being of prisoners’ and offenders’ families Action for Prisoners’ Families

3 The Context  200,000 children have a parent who is sent to prison each year  More than affected by divorce  2.5 times the number of looked after children  ¼ of young male offenders are or about to become fathers  Just 5% of children stay in family home when mother sent to prison 3

4 Secrecy  “No, [I didn’t tell the teacher] because if I tell that my dad’s in prison then I’ll get told off by my mum.”  “I just tell him Daddy’s at work. It’s the easiest thing for everyone.” 4

5 Anxiety “She mustn’t think we don’t love her… if we don’t keep in touch she will think we don’t love her and she will harm herself again.” “My little boy is terrified they will come and take me away too.” 5

6 Anger  “He’s just gone. Playing up. Attitude problems and not doing as he is told. It’s on his mind all the time. Even in school he is crying and saying ‘I want my Dad, I miss my Dad.’” 6

7 Maintaining Relationships  “I haven’t seen my boys for three years. My oldest was 11 when I went in. He’s a young man now.”  “We didn’t talk when we saw him. There were too many other people around. I couldn’t think of anything to say in case someone else was listening.” 7

8 Practicalities  “It’s a five hour round trip to see him. We have to set off really early and the kids are shattered when we get there.”  “My benefits stopped. I had to start from scratch.”  “You don’t know what’s happening. There’s no information for families.  Who do I ask for help and information. 8

9 Relief  “Our life is now stable we can have our mates over and not worry about fights and arguments.”  “I manage fine – I’m very good with money. I’m better off now to be honest, though he’d be raging if he heard me say that. We always had less when he was here.” 9

10 The Effects  Children of prisoners 2/3 more likely to have mental health problems than their peers  Higher levels of depression among adults  Families plunged deeper into poverty  Housing disruption  Hostility from local community/ social isolation  School – truancy, challenging behaviour  Trauma – bed-wetting, withdrawal, eating  2/3 of boys with a dad in prison go on to be offenders themselves 10

11 Hidden Problem  Hidden problem  No official recording of figures  No one statutory agency with overview of their needs  Lack of joined up support  72% of partners not receiving support (Ormiston Trust)

12 Pre arrestArrest First court appearance Remand: bail/custody Trial and Sentence Custodial/non-custodial Serving Sentence in custody Pre-release Release Resettlement The Offender Journey 12

13 Offender’s family in community Offender in Prison No single agency in charge No info sharing No picture of family needs Failing to Bridge the Gaps Children of Offenders’ Review 2007 13

14 What can we do?  Display information for families and offenders.  Engage with voluntary sector and statutory services.  Develop children and families pathway involvement.  Involve families in sentence planning where appropriate.  Regular familiy/child parent and adult days.  Encourage contact either by letter /phone and email.  Family/relationship courses for offenders / families. 14

15 Hidden Sentence  Training for practitioners  Raises awareness of the needs of prisoners’ families  Multi agency training 15

16 More Information  07772246703

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