This Life Without Bars
I’m worried that my baby will grow up thinking that being in prison is not bad and that people in the prison are normal. They might act just like criminals when they grow up, because that’s what they will have seen when young. I don’t want that.
Mother, Siem Reap Prison.
What is the aim of the program?
To ensure young people, or women with children in conflict with the law are able to access alternative measures to custodial sentences where appropriate (diversionary measures), and are adequately supported where a custodial sentence is required.
What activities do we run?
This is a new program and we are now:
- Developing guidelines for child-friendly spaces and programs in prison, in collaboration with relevant external stakeholders.
- Building the capacity of legal authorities and relevant government staff to implement new diversionary measures.
- Implementing pilots of diversionary programs and child-friendly spaces programs in Siem Reap prison and ensuring child-friendly spaces are also used for visitation purposes.
- Advocating for increased visitation rights by utilising This Life’s networks and building on existing knowledge and experience.
- Consulting with relevant government ministries to advocate for government endorsement and implementation of the frameworks and guidelines.
What are the program outcomes?
- Incarcerated mothers are able to retain strong relationships with their children in a positive and supportive environment.
- Children are not exposed to an environment that may lead to their experiencing developmental issues that could affect the rest of their lives.
- Women with children and juveniles are supported throughout the sentencing process, are aware of their rights, and are able to make well informed decisions where necessary.
- Young people, or women with children feel they have hope, opportunity and choice when considering their futures.
- Recidivism rates are reduced as a result of participation in the program activities.
- Young people, or women with children in conflict with the law are supported throughout the sentencing process and family relationships maintained.
- Law enforcement stakeholders have increased knowledge around the importance of child-friendly spaces/programs and visitation rights and actively promote their use.
- Government and judiciary have an increased knowledge and understanding of the benefits of diversionary measures and child-friendly spaces/programs.
- Government and judiciary actively promote and implement diversion frameworks and guidelines, thereby leading to systemic change.