Imprisoned Families : Young People's Experiences of Simultaneous Family Imprisonment

Deacon, Kirsty (2021) Imprisoned Families : Young People's Experiences of Simultaneous Family Imprisonment. The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, Glasgow. (

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This research briefing outlines the experiences of young people in Scotland who have a family member in prison (a parent or sibling) while they are also serving a prison sentence themselves. Research has shown that children whose father has served a prison sentence are more likely to go on to prison themselves, and that there are links between a sibling’s delinquency and the likelihood of their own (Farrington et al, 1996; Farrington et al, 2001; Murray and Farrington, 2005). These findings should not be taken as implying an inevitability about these relationships but they do highlight the possibility of family members serving concurrent sentences. Despite this, research, policy and practice have failed to consider the potential impact of simultaneous imprisonment on family relationships. Children and young people experiencing parental imprisonment are increasingly becoming the focus of government policy, and their needs recognised and responded to by third and public sector organisations. There has, however, been no recognition of those experiencing either parental or sibling imprisonment while also within the prison system themselves.


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