15th July 2004

Relais Enfants-Parents (REP) is piloting workshops for imprisoned fathers at the Centre National d’Observation (CNO), located at Fresnes prison, in May. The CNO houses inmates sentenced to over 10 years for a six-week period to determine how and where the sentence will be executed. According to REP staff member Emmanuel Gallaud, the workshops are being carried out on an experimental basis until July, when the program will be evaluated in collaboration with social workers. The workshops will take place twice a month for a two-hour duration. CNO social workers will determine which inmates will be eligible to participate in the workshops; inmates who have been imprisoned for offenses against their children are not eligible. Each workshop will enable eight detainees to make crafts for their children. Discussions revolving around fatherhood and parenting will seek to reinforce the inmate’s identity as a parent. The workshops will also serve as a forum to raise awareness on the various initiatives REP carries out to maintain ties between children and their imprisoned parent, notably the accompaniment of children on prison visits to see the incarcerated parent.

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Author: rmchristen