Children first: putting the rights of children visiting prisons at the heart of policy and practice

Hutton, Marie (2021) Children first: putting the rights of children visiting prisons at the heart of policy and practice. In: Donson, Fiona and Parkes, Aisling (eds.) Parental Imprisonment and Children’s Rights. Routledge Studies in Crime, Justice and the Family . Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138283473

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only until 1 October 2022.

Download (298kB)


In English and Welsh prison policy, the children of imprisoned parents are all too frequently discussed in terms of their utility to the prison as a means of reducing re-offending and maintaining order by way of the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme. Further, while being viewed as the solution to the prisons’ problems, these children are also viewed as a problem in themselves, in particular the male children of male prisoners due to their purported potential for intergenerational offending. This chapter argues that the rationales for the positioning of children of imprisoned parents as both problem and solution are empirically unsound, and actively work to obfuscate the position of children of imprisoned parents as rights holders in contradistinction to the principle of the best interests of the child under Article 3(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It is then further argued that this framing could lead to discriminatory outcomes in contravention of Article 2 of the UNCRC for the children of prisoners with mental health problems and Black prisoners especially. Finally, the chapter considers how security measures imposed on visits have implications for the right of the child to engage in play and recreational activities, more commonly known as the right to play under Article 31 of the UNCRC.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2021 08:18
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2021 08:18

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update