19th June 2012

Eurochips’ member Relais Enfants-Parents and the Department of Melun’s Centre of Detention in southeastern Paris are launching a new initiative to allow incarcerated fathers to have lunch with their children one Wednesday every month starting in June.

Two Relais staff workers will supervise the lunches; the prison will provide special meal-trays funded by participating families. Children with incarcerated parents in these facilities are rarely given the opportunity to share a meal during their parents’ sentence. Sharing this time together often represents a key moment in the child’s development in that it enables the child and his parent to identify their roles within the family, and helps reconstitute fragments of daily life.

Currently in the country, only children who have a parent in prisons with visiting rooms are given the opportunity to eat lunch with their incarcerated parents. There are 178 prisons in France, 18 of which have visiting rooms.

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Author: rmchristen