Break the cycle and prevent children of incarcerated parents from becoming criminals like me, says mum.
CHILDREN WITH PARENTS IN PRISON NEED IMMEDIATE AID FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO PREVENT THEM FROM FOLLOWING IN THEIR FATHERS’ STEPS INTO CRIME, a mother has warned.
After she was arrested as a teenager, Kaylee Kimber-Johnson, 34, said her mother told her that criminality “runs in the family.”
The Daily Express Break The Cycle campaign wants the Ministry of Justice and Social Services to set up a system that alerts authorities and a commissioner to protect the interests of at-risk children.
Kaylee’s mother and father, Paul, were both sentenced to prison for attempted rape, sexual assault, and assault in 2016, and her partner was sentenced to prison in 2017.
Kaylee was imprisoned when she was 20 for fighting with her ex-partner, and her first child was taken into care.
Kaylee, from Oxford, is now studying to be a social worker and has promised to do everything she can to keep her children Erin and Elsie out of trouble.
“Crime is in the genes,” she told the Daily Express.
My father used to steal cars, and she was a shoplifter.
“I went in for stealing cars with the boys on the estate, and that’s exactly what I did.”
I was arrested for the first time when I was about 12 or 13 years old.
People you come into contact with become family.
And it’s because you feel like you’re turning your back on them that getting away is so difficult.
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“However, you’re merely attempting to better your situation.
It’s about breaking the cycle and teaching kids that being a criminal isn’t a good way to live.”
A parent in prison affects approximately 310,000 children under the age of 18.
Anti-social behavior is three times more likely in these kids.
Because of the stigma of having a parent in prison, two-thirds of boys with parents in prison go on to commit crime, with 25% developing mental health issues, playing truant, and performing poorly in school.
The Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit in Oxford is running a pilot program that identifies children as soon as a parent is imprisoned.
They are then referred to the Children Heard and Seen charity.
It provides at-risk children with mentoring and activity days.
Kaylee and her children benefited from the charity, but she wants more to be done on a national level.
“As soon as a parent goes to court, something needs to be in place,” she said.
It certainly is.
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