Offender's Families

The purpose of this project is to develop and enhance systems to ensure those in prison are able to maintain the key relationships that will support and improve their rehabilitation; to provide appropriate support to those affected by having a family member in prison and to reduce the adverse impact that can be experienced by offender families both at the time of imprisonment and beyond. It will explore routes in which positive and appropriate support to the offender and to the family of the offender can be provided.

Research shows that a strong and supportive family and close relationships are considered essential in helping offenders to stop committing crime, and engaging with families of those within the criminal justice system is not just positive for the offender, but also for the family. Parental imprisonment is a predictor of adverse outcomes, including mental health difficulties and inter-generational offending for children. Parenting plays a central role in relation to positive outcomes for children. Specific consideration will be given to children and young people to ensure that Adverse Childhood Experiences as a result of contact with the criminal justice system are reduced and eliminated wherever possible.

The priorities of this work are:

  • All staff to be ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) informed
  • Information to be shared with multi-agency partners to ensure relevant interventions are available, replicating effective practice from prisons in the community and creating tighter links between prison estate and community
  • Work in partnership to ensure children and young people of offenders are identified at arrest, at sentencing and on imprisonment
  • Review current availability of relevant support services and identify and address any gaps in provision of services for families of offenders in Wales
  • Explore and develop mechanisms to evaluate the impact, provision and support services offered to families
  • To monitor and support the implementation and maintenance of the Lord Farmer recommendations in all Welsh Prisons

Progress to date:

  • Task and finish groups established aligned to the Reducing Reoffending Pathway with a focus on offender families
  • Children’s SPOCs for both Prison and Probation identified
  • Implementation of the Lord Farmer recommendations which looked at family ties for female offenders as part of the Female Offender Blueprint activity
  • Development of the Visiting Mums project which is being delivered by Welsh Government in partnership with HMPPS and PACT