Prisons, families and human rights: From prisoners' rights to rights of prisoners' children

Peter Scharff Smith, Emma Villman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


Traditionally, the field of prisons and human rights has almost exclusively been a matter of balancing the state’s legitimate use of power and security concerns against the individual prisoner’s rights. In this chapter, we aim to remedy this problem by looking at the rights of children with imprisoned parents. First, we discuss the development of prisoners’ rights where after we turn to the question of their relatives and especially their children. We then discuss children’s rights and focus on three specific issues and sets of rights: 1) the protection of the best interest of the child, 2) the right to have regular contact with the imprisoned parent, and 3) the right of the child to express his or her view and to be heard in matters affecting the child. The central question is how the rights of children with a parent in prison should inform and help shape prison law and concrete prison practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParental Imprisonment and Children’s Rights
EditorsFiona Donson, Aisling Parkes
Number of pages23
Publication date31 Mar 2021
ISBN (Print)9781138283473
ISBN (Electronic)9781315270234
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeB2 Book chapter

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies on Crime, Justice, and the Family

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology

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