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Justice and Society Research Centre

Risk and Protective Factors in the Resettlement of Imprisoned Fathers and their Families

Main Contacts: Friedrich Lösel, Lucy Markson, Karen Souza, Caroline Lanskey

This project was a collaboration between Ormiston Children and Families Trust and the University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology. It investigated 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 positive child and family development. The 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 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 measures 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.