15th June 2004
Bambini Senza Sbarre of Milan is inaugurating the Stanza Verde, an initiative for children with imprisoned parents spearheaded by the association as part of a more comprehensive parenting initiative for detainees run by Relais Genitori Figli (composed of Caritas; national public health services Asl; and Enaip, a private training foundation). The Stanza Verde, located in Milan ‘s Science and Technology Museum near San Vittore Prison, will offer a place for children with imprisoned parents and their families to wait prior to visiting with the father and mother, which generally requires waiting in line outside the prison for long periods of time, rain or shine. The room is bright and child-friendly, with toys and games and specially trained personnel to help alleviate anxiety and stress among the children. Staff and volunteers can also provide support and information for family members on psychological issues, legal matters and other relevant concerns. During the project’s pilot phase, the Stanza Verde will be open on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, beginning May 8. At San Vittore, an estimated 30 percent of male detainees and 50 percent of female detainees have at least one child. There are over 56,000 people currently imprisoned in Italy ; nearly 20,000 have children.
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