Conference Highlight #INCCIP2019

Anyé Young is the author of a book entitled: ‘Teen Guide to Living with Incarcerated Parents: A Self Help Book for Coping During an Age of Mass Incarceration’ and had traveled thousands of miles, from her home in the USA, to be one of the keynote speakers at the International Coalition for Children with Imprisoned Parents (INCCIP) at the University of Huddersfield. The biennial conference’s theme was ‘When a parent is incarcerated; International Perspectives on a Child’s Journey’. Delegates came from all over the world to attend the three-day conference that had been organised in partnership with INCIPP.

University of Huddersfield drew delegates from around the world and its discussions and findings will have a global influence on the development of compassionate policies towards children with parents who are imprisoned. A highlight of the 3-day event was a visit to a women’s jail with a pioneering facility that allows overnight stays for children of mothers who are serving sentences.  Some of the female prisoners took part in a discussion session with delegates.

The conference also featured moving and inspiring contributions from young people who have had to cope with the absence of an incarcerated parent. “That was a very enlightening session,” said conference organiser, Ben Raikes.  “We heard stories of children having to cope in the most awful circumstances and the young people taking part supported each other very well.”

Raikes is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work at the University of Huddersfield, with a research specialty in imprisoned mothers and how they maintain contact with their children.  He is a co-founder and board member of the International Coalition for Children with Imprisoned Parents (INCIPP) and at its inaugural conference in New Zealand in 2017 he suggested Huddersfield as the venue for the 2019 event.

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