The Council of Europe issued in April 2018 new policy guidelines aimed at safeguarding the rights and interests of children of imprisoned parents: the Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)5 on Children of imprisoned parents. The Committee of Ministers adopted the Recommendation recalling that children with imprisoned parents are entitled to the same rights as other children, including regular contact with their parents, except if it is considered contrary to the child´s best interests. Maintaining child-parent relations can positively impact not only the child, but also the imprisoned parent, prison staff and environment, and by better preparing prisoner for release and social reintegration, also protect society in general. Following this initiative there was a strong call from EuroPris members to start an expert group that will support Member States in the implementation of this recommendation.
The first Children of Prisoners Expert group meeting took place on 3-4 October 2019 in Cork and it was kindly hosted by the Irish Prison Service. Various issues concerning the children of imprisoned parents across the Europe were discussed.
|EuroPris Group Coordinator: Kirsten Hawlitschek|
|Pat Dawson (Chair) – Irish Prison Service|
|Athena Demetriou – Ministry of Justice and Public Order: Department of Prisons|
|Justina Dzienko – Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection|
|Tibor Zakhar – Hungarian Prison Service|
|Angelika Beyer – Ministry of Justice of Austria|
|Marjan Wijn – Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency|
|Kristin Tandberg – Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service|
|Ioana Morar – National Administration of Penitentiaries|
|Gill Robinson – Scottish Prison Service|
|Jan Tutoky – General Directorate of the Corps of Prison and Court Guard|
|Maya Wolinder Lind – Swedish Prison and Probation Service|
Supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union