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Fathers in Prison

fathers in prisonRisk and Protective Factors Associated with the Resettlement of Imprisoned Fathers and their Families

This project was a collaboration between Ormiston Children and Families Trust and the University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology. It sought to understand the role played by the families of prisoners and the experiences and problems that partners and children face during a father’s imprisonment and after he is released from prison. Prisoners’ families are a vulnerable yet ‘invisible’ group with complex needs. They can also be an important resource in helping prisoners to resettle and desist from crime. The project investigated further the experiences and expectations of this group. It explored risk factors and mechanisms that increase problems for the family or the father in prison as well as protective factors and mechanisms that promote a successful reintegration and a positive child and family development.

lotto ormistonThe project is the first prospective longitudinal study in the United Kingdom and Europe that has addressed directly the views of family sets of prisoners, their (ex)partners and, where appropriate, their children. We interviewed the fathers, (ex)partners and children within four months before, and up to six months after, the father’s release. The interviews and various standardised questionnaires addressed the quality of family relationships, contact during imprisonment, communication and problem solving, parenting and care-giving, informal social support, experiences of stigmatisation, finances, employment, accommodation, participation in support programmes, health issues, social behaviour, resilience and other factors that may be linked to positive or negative outcomes for parents and children. The final report provides new and differentiated insights into the impact of imprisonment and the complexities of the resettlement process for the prisoners and their families.

Principal Investigator Professor Friedrich Lösel fal23
Co-Investigator Dr Joseph Murray jm335
Project Manager Gill Pugh gill.pugh@
Research Assistants Lucy Markson lm473
Karen Souza ks467
Dr Caroline Lanskey cml29



Further information about Ormiston Children and Families Trust can be found at

PDF Document Download the final report a .pdf file