This report begins by highlighting the impacts of parental incarceration for children, who the Committee heard are an invisible victim of crime (Chapter 2). At the forefront, the report emphasises the harm caused by incarcerating parents and interfering with a child’s right to stay with their family.
It outlines the need to reduce parental incarceration (Chapter 3) and develop a coordinated systems response to support affected children (Chapter 4). The report addresses the need to bring into view children affected by parental incarceration (Chapter 5) and canvasses options to embed the best interests of the child at all points that they may intersect with the adult criminal justice system (Chapter 6).
The final chapters of the report explore options for facilitating and maintaining meaningful connections during a parent’s time in prison (Chapter 7) and makes recommendations about the supports required to ensure that these children have the best possible chance to succeed (Chapter 8).
The report highlights the experiences of children and adults who have had parents in prison and contains insights from parents who spoke to the Committee from prison. As such, the Committee notes that the report may contain sensitive or confronting material, particularly for those who have experienced parental incarceration.