Prisoners: Parents

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children in England and Wales have had a parent in prison in the last seven years.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The government is committed to supporting prisoners to establish or maintain relationships with their families and significant others where appropriate. My Noble Friend, Lord Farmer, published his report in August, produced on behalf of the Government, which we have warmly welcomed. Work has already commenced on taking forward some of the important recommendations from this review.

The Ministry of Justice does not collect data on the number of children who have a parent in prison. An MoJ longitudinal study of adult prisoners estimated that there were around 200,000 children who had a parent in prison at some point during 2009.

In 2015, MoJ published estimates of the proportions of adult female offenders in 2012 who had one or more dependent children in their care at the time of their disposal. This analysis estimated that between 13-19% of women serving an immediate custodial sentence had at least one dependent child in their care. On average, this group of women had 1.8 children each.

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