15th December 2003

The Fédération des Relais Enfants Parents (FREP), a founding member of EUROCHIPS, held its second annual national meeting November 22 and 23 in Toulouse , with professionals and volunteers from France , Belgium and Togo participating (a Relais Enfants Parents opened in Lomé in July 2004). The two-day event featured a series of workshops on maintaining ties between children and imprisoned parents ; support for parents with a child in prison; launching new field-based activities ; and evaluating and monitoring child-centered projects. Alain Bouregba gave an overview of various parliamentary projects currently being weighed in France to facilitate ties between a child and an imprisoned parent. The FREP is lobbying for the reimbursement of transportation costs for families on prison visits ; the creation of child-friendly play areas in all prison establishments ; and the accreditation of various organizations to intervene for accompanying children to see imprisoned parents. Elisabeth Whitelaw presented current work being carried out by the EUROCHIPS network, with an update on its progress in drafting “Prisoners’ Children and Family Ties: a Handbook of Practice and Experience,” to be presented at a European conference in Strasbourg in 2005.

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Author: rmchristen