the friend online
13 March 2009


Women in prison - preview
It is estimated that more than 17,000 children in the UK are separated from their mother by prison each year

  • Whether you mark mother’s day (22 March) or not, it is an opportunity to reflect on what could and should be done for these children and their mothers
  • Most obviously there needs to be a drastic decrease in the number of women being sent to prison

  • While women are sent to prison the government has a responsibility to limit the damage this does to them and their children
  • In practice this means facilitating family visits as well as other means of maintaining contact and supporting reunification on release
  • Barriers to family reunification cause additional distress and prolong separation
  • Only five per cent of children remain in their home if their mother is sentenced to prison
  • Children who have to leave their homes may have to change school, they may be looked after by family members or they may be taken into care

  • Laurel Townhead

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