University of Tasmania
whole_BurtonPatrickGerard2013_thesis.pdf (3.15 MB)

Children of prisoners : passive victims or humans with rights?

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posted on 2023-05-26, 23:21 authored by Burton, PG
Over the past few decades, the phenomenon of children of prisoners has produced a small but growing body of literature, much of which focuses on the lack of affirmative action by governments in Western countries (including Australia) to support the children. There are a number of key areas where appropriate levels of intervention are deficient ‚ÄövÑvÆ resulting in there being no clear lines of accountability and specific state agencies have not been identified and given a mandate to respond to the needs of this very vulnerable population. They are consistently 'falling through the cracks'. This study asks whether the rights of the children are being met as assessed in relation to relevant articles of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). Historically these children have been overlooked, especially by the criminal justice system, resulting in them being labelled as an invisible population, forgotten victims of crime, and collateral damage of the legal system ‚ÄövÑvÆ presenting a picture of the children as marginalised and socially excluded. This thesis describes the phenomenon of 'children of prisoners' by looking at their own (and their parent's) circumstances before, during and after the state's intervention resulting in the parent's imprisonment. It argues that children of prisoners should be recognised as a unique group with complex needs. It also acknowledges that the children and their families are often a difficult group to work with. It looks at common themes which emerge across jurisdictions, especially the impacts on the children, as various stakeholders respond (or fail to respond) to their needs. It also examines international and domestic human rights instruments, conventions, declarations, petitions and proposals concerning the rights of the children. Finally, it lists key findings and the difficulties of global ideals regarding the children finding their way into state legislation and policy to augment the human rights of the children of prisoners.


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  • Unpublished

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Copyright 2013 the author Thesis (MCrimComm)--University of Tasmania, 2013. Includes bibliographical references. Ch. 1. Introduction -- Ch. 2. the prisoners and their children -- Ch. 3. Complex issues faced by children of prisoners -- Ch. 4. Human rights -- Ch. 5. Conclusion

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