When the Innocent are Punished: Prison, Society and the Effects of Imprisonment

  • Peter Scharff Smith
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


The use of imprisonment carries with it a long list of serious problems, which reach far beyond the question of how the individual prisoner reacts to being deprived of liberty. By looking specifically at prisoners’ children — a group of citizens who are likely to be more numerous than the prisoners themselves — we can begin to understand some of the intergenerational effects of imprisonment. Children of imprisoned parents constitute a vulnerable group with heightened risk of adverse outcomes. As shown in this study, the closer we get to the situation and experiences of these children, the more we understand how difficult and devastating it can be to have a parent in prison. The almost countless practical problems and issues that can arise — and which have been described in this book through the experiences and voices of prisoners’ children and their families, as well as prison staff, the police and social workers — confirm the serious, complex and far-reaching consequences of parental imprisonment.


Corporal Punishment Penal Populism Parental Imprisonment Individual Prisoner Solitary Confinement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Peter Scharff Smith 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Scharff Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Danish Institute for Human RightsDenmark

Personalised recommendations