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NCJ Number: 162730 Find in a Library
Title: Imprisonment and Family Ties
Journal: Home Office Research and Statistics Directorate Research Bulletin  Issue:38  Dated:(1996)  Pages:1-6
Author(s): M Richards; B McWilliams
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate
London, SW1H 9AT, England
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study by the Cambridge University Centre for Family Research showed that imprisonment was a much more difficult experience for mothers than for fathers, primarily because men's children continued to be looked after by their partners while they were in prison, whereas women had to rely on substitute caregivers.
Abstract: The study had three main phases: (1) 14 prisons were visited to assess visiting facilities; (2) prisoners were interviewed 2 months before their expected release date and again about 6 months after release; and (3) caregivers were interviewed. The study found some good examples of visiting facilities and many instances of plans for improvement. In many prisons, however, visiting facilities remained inadequate. The effect of imprisonment on the family was examined using a sample of 59 men and 65 women. The men had a total of 150 children and 79 lived with their fathers prior to arrest. The women had a total of 151 children and 7 lived with their mothers prior to arrest. Different patterns in prearrest relationships were reflected in the arrangements made for child care while parents were imprisoned. With only one exception, caregivers for children of male prisoners were partners or ex-partners. Caregivers for children of female prisoners were much more likely to be other family members and friends. Children whose fathers received custodial sentences generally remained with their mothers in the family home and caregiving patterns remained relatively stable, while those for children of female prisoners were subject to considerable disruption. Female prisoners were more likely than male prisoners to report problematic behavior and poorer relationships with their children as a result of imprisonment. They also reported more difficulties in re-establishing good relationships with their children after release. The authors conclude that the maintenance of family ties is important for imprisoned parents, and particularly for female prisoners and their children. 4 references
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Child care services; Children of incarcerated offenders; Effects of imprisonment; England; Female inmates; Foreign correctional facilities; Foreign inmates; Male female offender comparisons; Male offenders
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