Some of the challenges with prison visits

Recent EU-funded research indicates that 25 percent of prisoners’ children are at risk of increased mental health difficulties; further studies suggest that regular, direct contact with an imprisoned parent helps promote resilience in children.

Contact with an imprisoned parent can face systemic hurdles:

  • lack of appropriate visits facilities,
  • visits hours that conflict with school hours,
  • limited modes of contact, including physical contact at times.

Child-friendly prison design, regulations and schemes help children and parents reconnect—in visits facilities sensitive to children’s age and needs; via IT for spontaneous exchanges about meaningful events; through prisoner-parent support groups that reaffirm a sense of parenthood and enable prisoners better to help their children.

For further information on the impact of visiting a parent in prison, read the EU funded special edition newsletter on prison visits and families.

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