Pact, along with a number of other charities, has called on the Ministry of Justice to collect and publish more comprehensive information about children with a parent in prison.

As the Victims and Prisoners Bill passes through Parliament, a number of charities are urging members of the House of Lords to back an amendment that would require the Secretary of State to publish data annually about children and young people affected by imprisonment.  

Estimates suggest that around 312,000 children are affected by this issue every year, but accurate and accessible information is currently not collected. There is no statutory safety net or system for identifying children whose primary carer has been removed from their child’s life to serve a prison sentence.

It’s important to avoid stigmatising this vulnerable group and many children with a parent in prison go on to lead positive and fulfilling lives. However, a range of research shows that, as a group, prisoners’ children suffer worse outcomes than almost any other group of children. If not identified and supported, they are more likely to suffer from problems later in life including mental health problems, homelessness, and poverty.

Read the full briefing here: House of Lords Briefing January 2024