Its often forgotten by the public or even the prison service that prisoners are people too! They are often Men/Women with family and children that have to take the punishment of imprisonment just as much as the actual prisoner.
Children are very aware of the pressure their parent is under going from a family unit with both parents to look out for you to a single parent household whilst having to come to terms with seeing a loved one locked away must be very difficult for a child, I mean its hard enough for adults to deal with but children do often seem over looked.
On visits children are subjected to rigorous searches and then have to sit in a room full of people feeling like they are being watched by prison officers
I watched some powerful drama work this week produced by the theatre royal Plymouths young company brought to you by I-HOP called the children of prisoners really made me think that our work here at prison phone is so very important to try and keep these relationships between prisoners and their children as normal as possible, this could even be so simple as a normal conversation the child can have with their mother or father in prison without the prisoner having to rush them off the phone to save PINS credit.
A shocking fact that I read at the end of the video was;
‘Every year more children are affected by the imprisonment of a parent than by a divorce in the family’
Surly the prison service should be doing more to try and preserve these relationships I’m sure even the victims of crime would agree that its nothing to do with the prisoners child what the prisoner may have been imprisoned for, so should they really lose complete contact with them?
‘During their sentence 45% of prisoners lose contact with their family’
WOW!!!! this is terrible! a huge number of children will lose contact with a parent someone they love through absolutely no fault of their own
Yes the person serving the prison sentence may have broken the law however it is a fundamental part of the rehabilitation process in my opinion that a prisoner once released can get back to normal and stay out of prison in the future, this will be very difficult to do if the prisoner needs to fight and rebuild a relationship with their family that didn’t need to break down as much as it is doing at the moment. We really need to try and make contact and visits as easy as possible for the families of prisoners rather than shipping a prisoner off 100s of miles away and then charging them extortionate prices to call their children on the telephone.
Click here to watch the video production and feel free to share your comments on here or on the video itself. I hope it helps to give you an insight of just what some children with a parent or loved one in prison are going through
As always take care and stay safe
x Claire x