As we mark World Book Day, Lisa Krolak highlights the transformative potential of providing incarcerated parents with the opportunity to practice literacy skills while bonding with their children
What better way to engage a non-reading, hard-nut prisoner who lacks parenting skills and has lost contact with his kids than getting him to read Cinderella? Sharon Berry, Storybook Dads
Many prisoners are also parents, meaning that countless children worldwide are growing up with the stigma and trauma of a parent behind bars. For children forced into isolation at home by the COVID-19 pandemic, this absence can feel even more acute. Imprisoned parents also struggle with separation, particularly as they are currently not allowed to see their families in most countries. Not being able to stay in touch with their children and families can have a very negative effect on their mental health.
Programmes are needed that provide opportunities for incarcerated parents to maintain strong family connections, enabling them to play an active role in the education, learning and development of their children. Often, such programmes offer crucial learning support to prisoners, who are more likely than the rest of society to have had limited educational experience, and to have difficulties with reading and writing. Continue reading