Skip to navigation

Locked Out: Children's Experience of Visiting a Parent in Prison

Author : Jane Evans (December 2015)

Price : Free

Locked Out: children's experiences of visiting a parent in prison is a research report from Barnardo's based on conversations, interviews and focus groups with children who visit their father in prison. They told us that some changes need to be made to help them feel more comfortable about accessing their right to have contact with their father in difficult circumstances.

The Government estimates that about 200,000 children are affected by parental imprisonment each year in England and Wales and Barnardo's has found that around 17,000 individual children visit prisons each month.

Locked out makes the following recommendations based on what children and mothers told us about their experiences:

  1. All prisons should view visits as a family intervention, under the remit of reducing reoffending, rather than a security risk.
  2. Searches of children and babies should be more child friendly and proportionate to the security risks posed.
  3. Children's visits to male prisons should be separate to the Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme, as they are for women's prisons
  4. The form and process for applying to the Assisted Prison Visits scheme should be simplified
  5. Play facilities and visitor services within prisons should reach a consistent national standard, informed by advice from Ofsted.
  6. Children should be permitted to bring homework and school reading books into and out of prisons.


The following are available for free download:

Green download arrow Locked Out: full report

Associated subjects and types

Policy and research documents, Advocacy, rights and community inclusion

< Back to publication search