i Hop Support Families of Prisoners Newsletter

i Hop Support Families of Prisoners Newsletter

Added: 08 December 2014

Welcome to the sixteenth edition of i-HOP Supporting Prisoners Families e-news.

In this edition we look at the services and resources on i-HOP which support children and families of convicted sex offenders.

This month’s newsletter is packed full of useful services, research and resources to assist professionals working with offenders’ children and their families. We now have over 500 resources listed on our online information hub and over 1000 members!

Families of Sex Offenders

Sex Offenders now make up 15% of the prison population in England and Wales (AMIMB 2014). This means that there are many children whose parents, siblings and relatives are currently serving custodial sentences for sexual offences at prisons across the country. Being a child or partner of a sex offender brings with it additional challenges, not least the nature of the offence, the response of the local community and the identity of the victim, which can be a family member or indeed the child themselves. The stigma surrounding families of prisoners is known to be exacerbated by the sexual nature of their family member’s offence, with many children experiencing differential treatment by teachers and classmates (American Journal of Criminal Justice 2009).

Contact between the child and the imprisoned relative can be restricted, or in some cases prohibited altogether. On average convicted sex offenders spend a further 12 months more in custody than those convicted of other offences (MoJ 2013) as well as an extended period of license upon release (Bromley Briefings, 2014). Not all sex offenders are deemed to pose a risk to their children and as a result this can be upsetting and confusing for a child who may have previously had a very positive relationship with their parent or relative. It is important therefore, that these children receive targeted support to reduce the isolation and stigma often felt by these families.

Highlights

Parenting from prison

This briefing, developed by Action for Prisoners’ and Offenders’ Families (APOF), explains how prisoners convicted of a sex offence, or those serving a long/life sentence, can maintain positive relationships with their children during a custodial sentence.

MAPPA- Information for families

This factsheet, developed by Action for Prisoners’ and Offenders’ Families (APOF), is for the families of offenders who have committed violent or sexual crimes and as a result are subject to Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). The factsheet provides information ranging from what MAPPPA is, how it works and how it can help families.

Parenting Programme at HMP Ashfield

Barnardo’s Bristol ‘Children Affected by Parental Imprisonment’ service has recently started delivering a parenting programme at the HMP Ashfield - a category C adult male establishment that holds 400 convicted prisoners serving sentences for sexual offences. Further details of the parenting programme will soon be available on i-HOP.

Events

Somerset Multi-agency Event: Supporting Children and Families Affected by Parental Offending.

Last month over 100 key strategic leads, managers and practitioners from across Somerset (including police, probation, prison service, children’s services, education and health) came together for the first time to discuss the development of a new Local Authority wide strategy to support children affected by parental offending.