On Wednesday 8th September 2021, the Action for Children and Families Network joined together for the first meeting of the network for the 2021/2022 period. The primary focus of the meeting was to generate ideas on how to action the various recommendations of IPRT’s recently launched report, Piecing It Together: Supporting Children and Families with a Family Member in Prison in Ireland. The members in attendance were divided into five individual breakout rooms focused on core areas of recommendation from the report:

  • Recommendations relating to national-level policy and supports
  • Recommendations relating to the court system
  • Recommendations relating to the prison system
  • Recommendations relating to the community
  • Recommendations relating to research/data gaps and collection

The breakout rooms identified several practical and realistic steps for actioning the recommendations of the report which the network will work together to carry out throughout the next year.

Another focus of the meeting was the discussion of the Irish Prison Service Public Consultation on the Review of the Prison Rules in order to gather insights from the network on the best approach to making a submission to the review as well as the priority areas to include in a submission.

At this meeting, we also welcomed new members to the network. Our new members represent a variety of organisations that work with prisoners as well as children and families of people in prison in Ireland, such as Barnardos, Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO), Pavee Point and Talbot Centre.