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Storybook Dads

Overall Winner - Storybook Dads

Storybook Dads provides an invaluable service which allows imprisoned parents to send their children a CD recording of them reading a bedtime story. This gives prisoners an opportunity to fulfil a natural parental role from behind bars and children the chance to maintain close contact with their parent, and allowing them to hear their voice as often as they choose.

Around 150,000 children are separated from their parents due to imprisonment each year. These children are often the forgotten victims of crime and can suffer from feelings of isolation, shame, abandonment and mental health problems.

Sharon Berry, project manager, says: We find that children often feel a lot of shame when their parents are imprisoned. This scheme however makes the children proud when they can take the CD to school and show it to their friends. It also makes them feel empowered because they can choose when to listen to it. Another example of how it can touch them is one very little child who is learning to speak is using the recording with his mother to help him learn.

Storybook Dads research shows that family ties between prisoners and their children helps to reduce re-offending and also reduces the disruption to the family which can lead to inter-generational offending. Berry adds: We felt that there was not enough being done to help prisoners maintain contact with their children and many prisons are located over 100 miles away from their families. We wanted to create a meaningful and intimate way to maintain contact.

The scheme also opens up educational opportunities for inmates such as literacy, IT skills, audio editing, improving confidence, and it also helps prisoners to value and perceive themselves as responsible parents.

Sharon Berry

Project manager

HMP Dartmoor

Princetown

Yelverton

Devon PL20 6RR

01822 892287

Reg no: 1101208

www.storybookdads.org.uk

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