A collection of poems and drawings by parents and children affected by imprisonment in the UK and abroad. The poems and images are all original and from open competitions begun in 2018. They address the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of the authors as they express themselves concerning their emotions and experiences. Over a million children and family members are affected by imprisonment in the UK alone and the poems seek to emphasise the sense of loss, deprivation and isolation involved. They also show resilience—and how enforced separation impacts each and every day of the writer’s life.
Extract from Mark’s ‘And I Need My Dad’
You are not here
Like my friend’s dad
To build rocket-ships
And kick a football…
You are not here
Because you are there:
Inside doing time,
And I need my dad.
Backed by prison and prisoner interest groups and children’s organizations. Contains wholly original material and insights. Linked to public events and initiatives. To be used in education and training.
‘These are frank and unsentimental poems as well as skilled and effective ones. Many poems tell a story briefly and powerfully and if there were a hallmark or collective strength of the anthology it might be authenticity of voice … The editors have respectfully and sensitively put together a valuable vehicle.’– Probation Journal.
Lucy Baldwin is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at De Montfort University Leicester. She is also a qualified Social Worker and Probation Officer having practised in her native North East. She convened the Women Family Crime and Justice Research Network at De Montfort and is the editor of Mothering Justice: Working with Mothers In Criminal Justice Settings (Waterside Press, 2015). She specialises in research surrounding mothering in and after prison and families affected by imprisonment. Ben Raikes is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Huddersfield University. He also works at the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research. Ben has experience as a social worker and probation officer. He runs writing groups in prisons and is a co-founder of the International Coalition for Children with Incarcerated Parents (INCCIP).
The author of the Foreword
Diane Curry OBE is the CEO of charity Partners of Prisoners and Families Support Group (POPS). She has vast experience of working within the voluntary sector and criminal justice system and is a qualified social worker. Diane received her OBE in 2006 for her pioneering work in this field including setting-up what became the Coalition for Racial Justice.