Monash University researchers are seeking input from the carers of children with a relative in prison to improve services for family contact in the absence of face-to-face visits.

Their new survey comes as in-person prison visits in Victoria remain temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key points:
  • Having a family member in prison can be very stressful
  • Keeping in contact is important, but it can be difficult without in-person visits
  • A new project from Monash University researchers wants to understand families’ experiences to recommend ways family contact can improve

Maintaining contact while a loved in is in prison is important, and incarceration has an impact on all members of a family.

Families affected by prison visit closures can share their experiences with the research team at this online survey.

Researchers will use the survey responses to highlight gaps and come up with suggestions for improving family contact where face-to-face visits aren’t possible. SHINE for Kids – a national charity supporting children with a parent in the criminal justice system – will then use the information to advocate for affected children.

While VACRO is not directly involved with the research, the rights of children affected by their parents’ contact with the criminal justice system is a key priority for our work.

We provide free counselling to eligible families with a loved one in prison, and subsidise travel costs to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people visit their family in Victorian prisons.

We know services improve when the voices of affected people are heard, and we encourage our clients, their families and their friends to take part in this survey if eligible.

More information