Earlier today, four mothers that we support who care for children with a parent in prison were interviewed on TimesRadio about what their lives are currently like. Unfortunately, the interview experienced some technical difficulties which meant that these women weren’t able to get across all of the ideas that they wanted to share. These women decided to have their voices heard and share an audio recording of what they wished they could have said, if they’d had the opportunity.
Lou’s children have not been able to see their fathers face, either in person or online, in twelve months. Lou states the need for a national framework for identifying and supporting children when a parent is imprisoned, as the only support that has been available has come from Children Heard and Seen. Hear more about Lou’s experiences by clicking the button below.
When children have a parent in prison, they go through a grieving process, similar to bereavement. The difference, however, is that when a parent goes to prison, rather than receiving sympathy and support, they face shame and stigma on top of the grief they are feeling for their loss. Michelle’s family had three months of regular prison visits before the first national lockdown, and the sudden changes in visitation have been extremely difficult for her three children to manage. Hear more about Michelle’s experiences by clicking the button below.
There is no counselling or additional support in schools offered to children impacted by parental imprisonment. Purple Visits have been set up, but not quickly, and still suffers significant technical difficulties that make the sessions poorly suited to calls with young children. Vix wants better communication with families from the MoJ. Right now, imprisoned parents are having to choose between a shower and a quick call with their family in their very limited out of cell time each day. This lack of contact can have significant and detrimental impacts on children’s emotional health and wellbeing. Hear more about Vix’s experiences by clicking the button below.
Kathi’s partner has just been released after a 5 year sentence. Kathi states that it is not realistic to keep prisoners locked in a cell for 23 hours a day with little to no family contact and expect them to be able to properly reintegrate themselves back into the family unit when they are released. Hear more about Kathi’s experiences by clicking the button below.