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Children of prisoners seriously at risk


11 September 2008

Children of prisoners seriously at risk says expert

The children of prisoners are at risk, local expert Karen Currie told the Every Child Counts* Conference in Wellington today. Karen is Programme Manager for Pillars, a Christchurch organisation that provides support for prisoners and their families.

“New Zealand has the second highest rate of imprisonment in the world, and that means we have significant numbers of children affected.”

“These children have often been subjected to significant trauma before their parents are incarcerated. The challenge for families is then how to maintain the critical and nurturing relationship between parent and child.”

Children of prisoners are themselves seven times more likely to be incarcerated as adults.

“Despite our serious profile of imprisonment, there is no local research about the outcomes for the children of prisoners.”

“Our services are inadequate and this means significant numbers of children continue to be at risk.”

ENDS


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