Imprisoned Fathers and Their Children by Gwyneth Boswell, Peter Wedge

By Gwyneth Boswell, Peter Wedge

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Extra resources for Imprisoned Fathers and Their Children

Sample text

She’s been very affected. ’ It upsets my wife, it upsets me. She’s confused, she can’t understand where I am or why I am here. She thinks I am still at court, but ‘a big court’. There’s been a psychological effect. My three-year-old son understands a lot, but is confused and doesn’t really believe it when I say I’m coming home soon. I tell him to be a good boy for his mum but I don’t ever tell him off. I feel I don’t have the right when I am not there to be with him. ’ It seems he has also remarked that other kids’ dads take them out and his doesn’t.

The largest category of response, however, was of those who said that they would do the opposite of the negative aspects of their father’s behaviour towards them, in bringing up their own children. As many as 44 per cent of adult inmates and 49 per cent of young offenders responded in these terms. For example: I realised when in here that I was doing things like my father did. There was a communication barrier. Gradually I have changed that – read, helped with diagrams. I ask about school, and friends.

Although much of the research cited in this chapter would point to the central importance for these agencies of providing formal child and family support, however, it is clear that such provision is patchy rather than consistent, that their new ‘correctional’ focus points them in other directions and that, as long as this remains the case, the push for a support framework will continue to emanate, not from statutory agencies, but from individuals and groups centred around the voluntary and charitable sector.

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Imprisoned Fathers and Their Children by Gwyneth Boswell, Peter Wedge
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