By Roger Shaw
Justice, it's stated, is set acquitting the blameless and punishing the responsible. Why then, asks Roger Shaw, are the kids of imprisoned mom and dad usually penalized the main? Prisoners' youngsters presents the 1st in-depth examine those hidden sufferers of crime and examines ways that the damage should be decreased. The individuals deal with such concerns because the further challenge of racism dealing with black little ones and their households, and the actual wishes of moms and infants in felony.
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Additional resources for Prisoners' Children: What are the Issues?
These themes will be developed in the rest of this chapter. First, there is an account of the research findings on unit babies, followed by the findings on separated babies. The final section examines issues for women prisoners’ children arising in the post-release period and in the longer term. METHODOLOGY The research was undertaken between April 1986 and October 1988. The unit group was composed of the seventy-four babies who resided in the units during that period. The comparison group consisted of thirty-three similarly aged children, two-thirds of whom were looked after by members of the extended family and one-third by social services foster parents during their mothers’ imprisonment.
2 The number of women who were mothers represented 40 per cent of the annual average female prison population in 1982. The female prison population in 1988 averaged just over 1,700 on any one day (Home Office 1989); using the 1982 census figure of 40 per cent as a conservative course between the earlier figures quoted as the total number of women in the female prison population with dependent children, and taking the generally held average of two children per mother as previously demonstrated, this would mean 1,360 dependent children are thus affected in any one day.
Other research provides clues about these longer-term outcomes. 24 The impact of parental imprisonment upon children The post-release period is clearly crucial for the future of an imprisoned mother’s family, for during this time the overwhelming majority of women try to re-establish the home and reassemble the family under its roof. The success of this effort and the smoothness with which it is accomplished must affect the children’s immediate and eventual prospects for a stable family life. Wilkinson (1988) has conducted the one research study on the post-release period of women prisoners and found it to be a time of considerable turmoil for most women and their children.