The cycle of punishment- Social exclusion of prisoners and their children

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Research suggests that Prisoner's Children are at risk of poor outcomes for the duration of their lives but there is barely any information regarding how many children of prisoners there are, where they are or who is looking after them. Using a survey of 147 english prisoners, who had 191 children between them, this article depicts children's circumstances in light of their father's imprisonment. For example the long distances that the children live from the prison, the fact that most children do not know about their father's imprisonment and in addition only 29% were expected to visit despite the majority having regular contact prior to their imprisonment. The research shows that the children face multiple types of social exclusion, for example; deprivation, loss of material and social capital, stigma, linguistic exclusion, political exclusion, poor future prospects and administrative invisibility (not being recorded). The report estimates that the number of children who have experienced divorce is close to the numbers that have experienced parental imprisonment in England and Wales, however there is not a legal framework in place to protect children of imprisoned parents. The author argues for future research and policy making to focus on limiting social exclusion of children of prisoners. e.g. looking at emotional and financial difficulties for families.

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