About our Project

It is estimated that at least one child in every UK school is affected by parental imprisonment. Less is known about the proportion of children and young people (CYP) impacted by imprisonment of a wider family member (such as siblings or grandparents). By taking a child-centred and rights-based approach to health, this two-year project aims to: (1) understand the long-term impact of reductions and/or changes to prison social visits on CYP’s mental health, emotional wellbeing and familial relations; and (2) explore how the lived experience of CYP can be applied to co-produce a child-centred rights-based framework for prison social visits.

The project has three phases:

  • Phase 1: families in North East England and Scotland who have a family member in prison will be invited to take part in a series of interviews (up to three over the course of nine months). Within interviews, creative approaches (such as Lego/playmobile, sketches and drawing) will be used to understand experiences of incarceration and its effects.
  • Phase 2: documents, websites and social media will be used to map how prison sites have responded to COVID-19 restrictions, with an emphasis on public correspondence with families and loved ones, and when/how sites implemented alternative contact measures such as secure video calling.
  • Phase 3: we will work with families recruited in Phase 1, third sector partners and creative practitioners over a number of workshops to co-produce a child-centred, rights-based framework of prison social visits. Workshops will also be held with policy-makers and practitioners from across the custodial environment to explore this framework. In addition to a framework for prison social visits, it is anticipated that all three phases will lead to the co-production of other creative outputs such as short videos, animation, spoken word/poetry, podcasts or zines.

‎We are currently undertaking Phase 1 of the project and are recruiting participants. Here is an accessible video whch explains what taking part in the study will involve:




Please contact Steph Scott (project lead) or Naomi Griffin (project researcher) if you have any questions or would like to discuss the study:

Email: steph.scott@newcastle.ac.uk or naomi.griffin@newcastle.ac.uk

Project Phone: 07856280644

Twitter Handle: @ESRC_Divided