At the University of Cambridge, we have added children of prisoners (students with imprisoned parents) to the list of characteristics we prioritise for widening participation programmes. I am calling for other providers to follow suit and consider being a child of a prisoner as a key piece of contextual information in the application process.
How many are there in the UK?
There are an estimated 312,000 children of prisoners in the UK. We have no systematic way of identifying them. When a parent is sentenced there is no mechanism for the local authority to be notified if they have children or even accurate records of if a prisoner has children.
What does current research tell us about this group?
Being a child of a prisoner is shown to correlate with compounding of disadvantage. In a...