Film: Safeguarding children when a mother is at risk of custody

Organised by Prison Reform Trust and Community Justice Scotland 

It is estimated that 27,000 children in Scotland experience parental imprisonment each year. Only 5% of children remain in the family home when a mother goes to prison. Many women fail to disclose they have children due to a misguided fear of the possible consequences this may have.

In 2018 Dr Shona Minson from Oxford University Centre for Criminology produced a film on the impact on children when a mother goes to prison. The film was edited for four different audiences in England & Wales:

  • Judges and Magistrates;
  • Advocates and Defence Agents;
  • Probation workers;
  • Women at risk of custody.

These films were hugely successful and are now an integral part of training for the Judicial Institute, Magistrates Association and Probation staff involved in writing court reports.

Now a series of similar films have been produced for use in Scotland to raise awareness of the impact a prison sentence can have on children when their mother goes to prison. The films hope to raise awareness with:

  • Sentencers;
  • Advocates, Defence Agents and Justice Social Workers;
  • Mothers who are at risk of custody.

There is also a short film telling impact imprisonment had on one woman and her two children.

The films include interviews with:
Lady Dorian Lord Justice Clerk and Chair Scottish Sentencing Council;
High Court Judge Lady Carmichael;
Sheriff Susan Craig, Depute Director Judicial institute for Scotland;
Claire Mitchell QC;
Defence Agent Iain Smith;
Julie Kelly Criminal Justice Social Work Manager, Renfrewshire Council;
Maria and Ang, two mothers with children who were imprisoned.

We will screen two of the films followed by a discussion with those involved in the films.

For more information please contact Anne Pinkman, Community Justice Consultant and Executive Producer of the Safeguarding Children films at