The rights of children whose parents are sentenced in the criminal courts
Dr Shona Minson
University of Oxford
Each year the parents of around 300,000 children in England and Wales, are sentenced to imprisonment. This presentation will consider the rights of these children, the contrasts between separation of children from parents in the family courts and the criminal courts, and the implications of such differentiated treatment for children, society and the state. How far should state punishment extend and who is responsible for the symbiotic harms of punishment?
Dr Shona Minson’s first career was as a barrister, working in family and criminal law. She moved from practice into academic research at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford in 2012. Her work analyses the observance of children’s rights in sentencing decisions concerning their primary carers and has brought attention to the lack of concern for children whose primary carers are before the court for sentencing in England and Wales. She has produced films and briefing papers about the impact of custodial sentences on dependent children, for England, Wales and Scotland, which launched in 2018 and are embedded in training for the judiciary, magistracy, advocates, and probation. Her work has led to change in policy and practice. She is currently a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Criminology at Oxford researching the experience of children whose parents are imprisoned during COVID-19 lockdowns.
For further information, please contact Professor Ravinder Barn, Head of the Children and Families Research Cluster, Department of Law and Criminology.