COPSG’s Silent Victims reported on the needs of children of prisoners who are also victims of violent crime. Author Judy Kell concluded that the needs of children of prisoners who are also direct and secondary victims were not well researched and resourced:
This report has identified a number of important themes and issues affecting these children. It has also recommended a diverse range of strategies designed to address these children’s needs to ensure that this group within our society can develop to their full potential and overcome many of the challenges they have been forced to face.
These strategies cannot be implemented without the commitment and financial support of a range of organisations identified in this report. It is imperative that they give priority to this group of children who have few options currently available to them.
In 1999 when this report was initiated, the needs of children of prisoners who were also the direct and secondary victims of physical, sexual or psychological abuse were not documented well nor comprehensively. Information was sparse and almost always interspersed with data on the needs of children of prisoners as a general population.
This report identified, through a literature review and discussions held with caseworkers and other relevant personnel, some of the major issues facing these children.
It recommended a range of strategies to support them, including:
- Data collection, information and research
- Counselling and support of the children
- Counselling for the families involved
- Inmate support and training
- Correctional centre services and staff training
- Governmental organisation, public awareness