Prisoners: Carers

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 22 April 2024.

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Photo of Kim Johnson Kim Johnson Labour, Liverpool, Riverside

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the oral contribution by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice on 15 December 2021, Official Report, House of Lords, column 401, if he will publish the data his Department has collected on (a) primary carers in prison and (b) the number of their children.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Our most comprehensive prison population data suggests that, over the course of a year, approximately 200,000 children may be affected by a parent being in, or going to, prison. However, this is based on survey data from 2009 and we recognise the need for a more up to date picture.

The Prison Strategy White paper detailed our intention to work with other government departments to commission updated research to improve our collective understanding of the overall number of children affected by parental incarceration.

The Government is delivering on its white paper commitment to improve our data and evidence in this area through the Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD) Programme. BOLD is a £19.7 million cross government Shared Outcomes Fund programme which is linking data to enable better evidenced and more join up across government services. Through BOLD, we are exploring data sharing and data linking to improve our understanding of the number of children with parents in prison – including data that does not rely on self-disclosure. We expect findings from the project to be published by the end of Spring 2024.

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