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Introduction:The health effects for children with incarcerated parents, and methods to improve children's ex-perience of the justice system, are under-researched areas. While some work has been done to illuminate theseconcerns, practical implementation of a“child-friendly prison”has been slow.Aims:A Health Directorate-funded project examining children's interactions with the Australian CapitalTerritory (ACT) justice system was conducted in 2013, which made a number of recommendations. The currentstudy sought to examine the ongoing impacts of parental incarceration for children in the ACT and follow up onthe recommendations.Methods:Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven key stakeholders with a relationship to theresearch area. The interviews were summarised, and a thematic analysis was carried out to identify relevantideas. Results from recent Detainee Health and Welfare Surveys were used to estimate the number of childrenaffected.Results:Thefindings from the interviews concluded that little action was taken in response to the original report,that children's rights and agency were compromised, that the prison lacked accessibility, that consistent andindividualised information should be provided to affected children, and that a previously operational homeworkprogram should be reinstated. Model facilities were identified.Conclusion:Three broadly-applicable recommendations were made in response to the data from the surveys:increasing accessibility of public transport, the establishment of a child liaison officer at prisons, and main-taining extended family visits.

Slipping through the cracks: Examining the realities of a child-friendly prison system


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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