Mothers: Prisoners

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th November 2017.

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Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant Conservative, Maidstone and The Weald

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the effect of maternal imprisonment on a child's emotional development; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant Conservative, Maidstone and The Weald

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on steps to reduce the number of children separated from their mothers and families through maternal imprisonment.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Minister of State (Education)

Custody should be a last resort and only imposed after the court has considered alternative sentences to be served in the community. We are committed to making sure that as many women as possible are effectively rehabilitated in the community to better protect the public and deliver better outcomes for female offenders.

This department has not made any assessment of the effect of maternal imprisonment on a child’s emotional development. However, the government has funded a contract worth over £1.4m for Barnardo’s to operate the i-HOP service to share evidence on practice and advise commissioners and practitioners on the options available to support the families of offenders.

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