Representing the child’s interests in judicial decisions
Children are seldom taken into account in decisions such as sentencing.
Considering the child’s best interests before sentencing involves asking questions such as:
- is the parent about to be sentenced the only carer that the child has,
- what will happen after imprisonment,
- who is going to care for the child,
- where is the child going to be living,
- which prisons are at a reasonable distance from the child’s home?
Other considerations include exploring if there is an alternative to custody for the parent. The consideration of these and other issues amounts to a ‘Child Impact Assessment’ of the consequences of judicial decisions. By piloting child impact statements, courts could consider the repercussions of a parent’s prison sentence on children’s lives.
For further information on sentencing, read the EU funded special edition newsletter focused on judges and police.
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