The Invisible Victims

Exploring the Impact of Parental Imprisonment on Children & their Families

CONFERENCE – Friday 31st May 2012 – 10am to 5pm, Ayr Campus

This conference seeks to address several related themes: the impact of imprisonment on individuals, the effects of parental imprisonment on the trajectory and welfare of children, the resettlement process into the community and how patterns of communication with children by parents during the sentence shape outcomes. The perspectives developed in the papers presented at the conference are based on psychological and sociological theories. The conference is aimed at disseminating cutting edge research and fostering critical dialogue amongst diverse groups who rarely have opportunities to share knowledge & experiences: renowned academics, policy-makers and practitioners (e.g. teachers, social workers, youth workers) and prison personnel.

Opening Speaker:  Professor Nancy Loucks, Families Outside

Conference Keynote Speakers: 

Dr. Joseph Murray, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge;
With rates of imprisonment at historically high levels in many countries worldwide, millions of children experience the loss of a parent to prison every year. Parental imprisonment appears to increase children’s own antisocial behaviours, and may be contributing to crime in the next generation.  Recent findings will be summarised from large-scale, longitudinal studies in Europe and the United States.

Dr. Syske Besemer, University of California, Berkeley.
After completing her doctorate at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, she has recently been awarded a NWO Rubicon fellowship to conduct post-doctoral research at UC Berkeley into intergenerational continuity of criminal behaviour, family dynamics, and the criminal justice system. Researching intergenerational transmission contributes to knowledge about the development of aggression and criminal behaviour, which can help to design interventions against such behaviour.Children whose parents exhibit criminal behaviour have an increased risk of becoming criminal themselves. Criminal or antisocial parents appear to be the strongest family factor predicting offending.

Conference cost £80.

To register for the Conference send cheque to:

University of the West of Scotland, School of Education, Ayr Campus, University Avenue, Ayr, KA8 0SX.

Cheques to be made payable to: University of the West of Scotland.

Call for Papers

Send 500 Word Abstracts to: Professor Chris Holligan, School of Education, email:

Sociological perspectives on the impact of imprisonment on families, relatives and children and prison life itself based on qualitative methodologies are particularly welcomed

Deadline: 28th January 2013


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