15th April 2005

In response to a report entitled “Poverty and Disadvantage Among Prisoners’ Families,” released in May by The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies  and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, charities in the UK are appealing to government departments to coordinate their action to respond to the plight of the estimated 150,000 children a year whom they say are being neglected by the state. The report highlighted the poverty, exclusion, loss of a parent and stigma the children experience, underscoring the inadequate funding for voluntary and community support organizations and the lack of a statutory safety net. The appeal is being made by EUROCHIPS member Action for Prisoners’ Families, in tandem with the Prison Advice & Care Trust, Prisoners Families & Friends Service and the Ormiston Children & Families Trust. “Finally—a report that recognizes the true cost of imprisonment,” says Sarah Salmon from Action for Prisoners’ Families. “These figures prove that the burgeoning prison population is leaving a trail of social devastation in its wake. Behind almost every prison sentence lies a story of broken homes, poverty and ill-health. All too often innocent family members and children are left to cope without adequate support. If the government is serious about tackling social exclusion, it must recognize that a jail term has consequences that reach far beyond the prison gates.”

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Author: rmchristen