Report on experiences of families affected by imprisonment

Date: 9th December 2019


The report, prepared by Maya Cohen, focuses on the significant challenges facing family members of people in prison surrounding travel, transport, and the experience of visiting.

It examines key policies that underlie Scotland’s position on public transport, community planning, and the rights and experiences of people in prison and their families surrounding visits. It then discusses various services and methods of visiting currently in place in Scotland, and internationally. Finally, it makes recommendations to policy-makers and professionals within the Scottish Prison Service of the best ways to address the challenges of prison visiting.

Overall, the report highlights the role of a strong public transport system and the importance of third sector organisations in the provision of travel and transport. Moreover, it argues for the development of alternative visiting methods, such as phone and video calls.

The report notes that children are particularly affected by the experience of a parent being imprisoned and that the ability to provide consistent and meaningful points of contact has multiple dimensions of significance for the emotional development of the child both in the short and long term. It also calls for this issue to be treated as a priority within the development of criminal justice and children and family policy.