A consortium of ten member organisations, comprising two from each country and two 'umbrella' (Pan-European/International) organisations has been established to implement the project. The consortium will be led by the University of Huddersfield. Each country group comprises a research institution and an NGO working with prisoners and their families. The two umbrella organisations have specific roles - the Quaker United Nations Office in Switzerland will help to ensure the recommendations from the study have maximum policy impact and EUROCHIPS in France is a networking body for academics, professionals and policy makers working in this area and will enable sharing of information and further alliances to be built.
The consortium members are listed below:
The University of Huddersfield, UK, has seven Academic Schools attended by over 22,000 students and staffed by over 1,600 teaching, research and support staff. The School of Human and Health Sciences comprises 6 Research Centres, including the centres for Applied Childhood Studies, Applied Criminology and Health and Social Care Research, which will all be involved in the project. The Centre for Applied Childhood Studies led by Professor Adele Jones, is nationally and internationally renowned for producing knowledge based on a critical engagement with theories and concepts relating to children and families, and a critical approach to research methodologies and therapeutic and social interventions.
The Dresden University of Technology Mental Health Services Research Group at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Dresden University of Technology has a special focus of research on the development of instruments for the assessment of mental health services and on studies on mental health services utilisation (see http://www.psychiatrische-versorgungsforschung-tu-dresden.de).The research group has conducted or is conducting a number of studies in which mapping of services is an essential part.
The Karolinska Institute (KI) is one of Europe's largest medical universities. KI has about 3700 employees and provides excellent postgraduate training with 2100 registered PhD students from around the world. KI has a longstanding experience of coordinating European-funded projects and is also the major Swedish beneficiary of funds from the NIH. The Department of Clinical Neuroscience brings together almost 1000 employees or affiliates, conducting research, educating and informing about the functioning of the brain - from a molecular level to a social perspective. The work is highly integrated with the clinical organisations within the jurisdiction of Stockholm, particularly via the recently established Center for Psychiatric Research.
This is the oldest higher education institution in Romania and has over 36,000 students and 900 academic staff. Research is top level and the university has been placed first in the national research ranking. The Faculty of Philosophy and Socio-Political Sciences is one of the largest Schools in the University and within its research departments academics are working on areas such as: violent and aggressive behaviour in children and adults; deviant and delinquent behaviour in school and outside the school environment; and social assistance for children with different problems.
POPS is a well established organisation which runs Visitor Centres in 7 prisons in the North West of England and provides support to offenders' families to help them cope with stress and isolation. POPS supports over 250,000 families a year and employ almost 100 staff and 30 volunteers. POPS prides itself in having a diverse work force, reflecting the people who use its services and demonstrating the organisation's commitment to equal opportunities and enabling it to understand the specific needs of offenders and their families.
Treff-Punkt, based in Nuremberg, Germany, works with governmental and non-governmental organisations to support offenders and their families. The organisation has been committed for more than 17 years to assisting people affected by delinquency with a variety of professional services such as: counselling for family members of detainees, individual counselling session and discussion groups, and provides services for partners, children, and parents of prisoners. The organisation offers a range of specialist programmes, such as the Father-child group, a unique course offered in tandem with the prison in Nuremberg, aimed at children aged 3-15 and their imprisoned fathers.
Riksbryggan is an umbrella organisation for the local Bryggan organisations working with children whose parents are the subject of the correctional system. Bryggorna work from a child's perspective, and focus on what is best for the child. Bryggan provides a safe meeting place for children, young people and parents and at certain bryggor, children and young people are offered a structured group activity, similar to that run for children with parents who are addicts. Mothers and fathers are offered parent groups. The families are offered meaningful leisure time, various types of activities, such as creative activities, sports clubs, museum visits, theatre visits and family camps and much more.
Based in the city of Iasi in Romania, ASA manages a range of funded programmes, and has experience of international work through involvement in the Eurochips network. Its mission is to raise public security and to defend international Human Rights by offering psycho-social and juridical services to victims of different forms of abuse, to victims of human trafficking as well as to persons that committed penal acts with the purpose of preventing relapse. The programs developed target the situation of prisoners focusing mainly on: "The community", informing the community with regards to issues generated by the imprisonment of a family member; involving the community (local authorities, NGOs, support groups) to ensure social support for the families of prisoners etc.
Pan-European/International Non-Governmental Organisations
EUROCHIPS, based in France, is the sole European network devoted fully to the issue of children with imprisoned parents. With its network of partners active within prison-related, child's rights and childwelfare fields in France, Belgium, Cameroon, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, the organisation has forged a consensus on prisoners' children's special needs and on the quality good practice norms that help combat the social exclusion and discrimination they are confronted with, helping to promote their healthy emotional, psychological, social and educational development. The network acts to boost awareness among decision-makers and the general public in Europe. It has published a seminal book entitled Children of Imprisoned Parents:
European Perspectives on Good Practice and is currently developing a series of Training and Information Packs for practitioners, prisons and schools to support imprisoned parents and their children.
Based in Geneva, QUNO has a well established and recognised ability to contribute resources to a range of human rights issues. Its active participation in a number of existing for a and standing committees is testament to the effectiveness of its outreach efforts. One of QUNO's three work programmes is Human Rights and Refugees. Since 2003, the top priority of the human rights work has been Women in Prison and Children of Imprisoned Mothers. QUNO has researched and published materials on various aspects of these issues (available from www.quno.org, including Babies and Young Children Residing in Prisons (2005), Impact of Parental Imprisonment on Children (2007), and Children Imprisoned by Circumstance (2008), and has organised presentations and discussions of its research findings in the UN building in Geneva for governments, experts, UN staff and nongovernmental organisations.