The Big Draw – Turner Prize

Turner Prize Winner for 2010 and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children & Young People join in support for prisoners’ children.

Susan Philipsz, winner of the Turner Prize for 2010, along with Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, recognised Scottish prisons and voluntary sector partners at an award ceremony for their work to support children with a family member in prison.

Nine prisons took part in the Family Friendly Prison Challenge, hosted by Families Outside in association with Action for Prisoners’ Families.  In partnership with the Campaign for Drawing and their initiative, The Big Draw, the challenge itself encouraged prisons to help prisoners maintain family contact – a crucial element in reducing re-offending – by running an event aimed at promoting positive family relationships.

With a month long season of drawing events in the prison establishemnts, the theme for the challenge was ‘Family Visits on a Budget’, as we were very aware of the financial constraints placed upon prisons.

Each year, more children in Scotland experience a parent’s imprisonment than a parent’s divorce.  The impact of this can be emotional, physical and financial, with children of prisoners facing rejection, stigma and victimisation by peers and neighbours.  Quality interaction between children and their family member in prison can make a huge difference to them, easing the pain of separation for the child and motivating prisoners to stay out of trouble on release.

“I used to love drawing as a child and I was really encouraged by my parents. I think anything that helps families in this situation is worth supporting.”

Susan Philipsz
Turner Prize Winner 2010

“The great thing about The Big Draw is that it benefits everyone involved – the child who has a parent in prison, the parent who has a child on the outside and the prison trying help maintain family relations in difficult times.  It is even better that this is done in a fun way through the drawing and the production of works of art.  I am delighted to have been invited to be part of this inventive and positive piece of work.”

Tam Baillie
Scotland’s Commissioner 
for Children and Young People

We have been delighted with the enthusiastic response to the scheme from each prison establishment and their eagerness to involve the children of prisoners.  With 9 of the 15 prisons taking part, we hope to encourage all the establishments to get involved in next year’s family focused event.

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