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Making Contact: Children of Imprisoned Parents

Western NSW Community Legal Centre (WNSWCLC) has called for additional resources and services to help imprisoned parents maintain meaningful relationships with their children.

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In a submission to the NSW Parliament’s Committee on Children and Young People, WNSWCLC said the socio-economic prospects of families are significantly reduced if a parent is imprisoned.

The Centre’s Law Reform Committee wrote: “Children of imprisoned parents are six times more likely to be imprisoned throughout their lifetime. In addition, where the imprisoned parent is the primary caregiver, children are at significant risk of being placed in the care and protection system.”

The problem is especially acute in regional, rural and remote areas.

As the submission writers note: “Some families may not have the means to pay for petrol or even have a car to travel long distances to visit incarcerated family members, and public transport in rural an remote areas is extremely limited. At times, the opportunity to visit an imprisoned parent may be entirely dependent on the assistance of a sympathetic adult, or other publicly available services…For some, most contact will occur through video conferencing.”

Read the entire submission on our Law Reform page.

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