Children of prisoners - maintaining family ties

Literature review - Black and minority ethnic families

For black and minority ethnic children with parents in prison these issues can be further exacerbated, and it is the responsibility of the services to provide culturally appropriate support both in the prisons and the community (81, 107).

In the United States, solution-focused groups for Hispanic children were found to be of benefit (108). Springer states that the importance of belonging to a group is essential. It can address the need for social support, diffuse the sense of shame and be reassuring for the child to know they are not the only ones in that situation. Similar conclusions were drawn for other black and minority ethnic groups by Mazza (81) and Travis (109).

The lack of culturally appropriate support for black and minority ethnic families, and families of foreign national prisoners, is an area requiring more research. Statistics show that there is an over-representation of black people within the prison system, as well as a growing number of foreign nationals (99). This is reflected in the establishment of the Black Prisoner Support Project by the Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group (POPS), which was set up to offer specific support for families of black offenders. Ormiston has recognised that members of gypsy and travelling communities continue to experience racism and disadvantage, and they have been working with those communities through their travellers' initiatives in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.