My Dad's In Prison artwork

MY DAD’S IN PRISON

MY DAD’S IN PRISON

“IT MADE ME GROW AS A PERSON AND A FATHER.”

participant

the project

My Dad’s In Prison is our innovative storytelling project that promotes understanding of having a parent in prison.

Working under the guidance of our professional writer and visual artist, prisoners collaboratively devise a children’s book, which they illustrate using collage. This simply and sensitively explores having a parent in prison, promoting understanding and reassurance.

The project culminates in a special family visit during which participants read the book to their children. They receive a professionally printed storybook as a unique gift for their children, strengthening the family bond.

Launched in 2021, My Dad’s In Prison aims to create a collection of books for children of different ages. The first, Dad’s in Prison, with a foreword by writer and Create Patron Erwin James, is available below. You can download the book here.

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Listen to Create Patron Erwin James read from the book by clicking above.

the need

Children with a parent in prison can feel isolated and ashamed, and relationships can suffer from the time apart. My Dad’s in Prison opens up a new avenue of communication for the prisoners and their children. It instils a sense of pride among participants and their families, further fostering positive parent/child relationships.

“this book means a lot because when [MY CHILDREN] grow up, I can actually sit and explain what we did and how we did it. It’s going to be easier for me to tell them about my time in prison.” 

participant

The project also promotes positive relationships with peers, enabling prisoners to develop social skills that they can use in prison and upon release. By working in pairs and groups, they develop the ability to express their ideas confidently, listen to others and work collaboratively to achieve a goal. Ultimately, they are able to take more responsibility for their actions and be more supportive in a group setting, vital for the rehabilitation process and future employment.

Hear from our participants

Two prisoners at HMP Oakwood tell us about their experiences on the project in November 2021.

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