Safeguarding Children when Sentencing Mothers by Dr Shona Minson

News from I-HOP

02/02/2018

A major piece of research describing the implications of maternal imprisonment on children has been published.  Written by Dr Shona Minson, a Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology at Oxford University this study is believed to be the largest of its kind that has been conducted in England and Wales.

In interviewing some 27 family groups, Shona found that having a mother in prison can effect all aspects of a childs life from education and health through to their ability to maintain an appropriate relationship with their incarcerated parent, as she states:
“My research found that children whose mothers are sent to prison are not afforded any of the same protections or support which are applied to children separated from their parents within the family courts as a result of care proceedings. Children of imprisoned mothers face extremely challenging circumstances which impact not only upon their immediate situations but also their future life chances.”

Shona has used the conclusions from her research to produce resource materials  including this short film and this guidance document aimed at all those involved in the potential sentencing of mothers to fully understand the effects of maternal imprisonment of mothers.

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