ADVICE FOR FAMILIES WITH MUMS IN PRISON IN ENGLAND AND WALES
Every year an estimated 17,000 children experience their mum being sent to prison. Last year, 83% of women sentenced to prison had committed a non-violent crime and 62% were serving a sentence of six months or less.
A new report by the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) reveals that a mother’s imprisonment not only damages the child’s relationship with her, but can affect every area of their lives, including their housing, education, health and well-being.
Only one in 20 children whose mother is sent to prison each year is able to stay in the family home. They may be placed with a number of different carers during their mother's sentence. Many children face financial hardship and encounter significant disruption to their lives such as moving school and being separated from brothers and sisters.
There are no corresponding statistics for NI and Scotland but the Prison Reform Trust estimate that 65% of women in prison in Scotland are mothers.
Birth Companions supports women experiencing severe disadvantage during pregnancy, birth and early parenting including mothers who give birth in prison
Support for prisoners’ children
The prison reform trust believes prison should be reserved for those whose offending is so serious that they cannot serve their sentence in the community