A report examined the impact on children of having a parent in prison. It said that an estimated 200,000 children across England and Wales, 1,500 children at any one time in Northern Ireland, and 30,000 children per year in Scotland were affected by parental imprisonment, but there were no official records as the courts, governments, and local services did not routinely collect such information.
The report said that children with a parent in prison:
- were twice as likely to experience conduct and mental health problems
- were less likely to do well at school
- were three times more likely to be involved in offending themselves
- often felt isolated and ashamed
- were often reluctant to talk about the issues due to fear of being bullied and judged
The report called on the government to appoint a lead Minister to have responsibility for taking forward a range of policy for children of prisoners.