Question to the Ministry of Justice:
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Answer from the Minister of State to the Question from the hon. Member for Bristol East on 22 November 2022, Official Report, column 142, what recent progress his Department has made on gathering data on the number of children affected by parental imprisonment.
The Prisons Strategy White Paper includes a commitment to improve the quality of the data collected and to improve the support provided.
A significant factor in improving the quality of data and evidence is our ability to join up different sources of data, and we are delivering on this through our Better Outcomes through linked Data (BOLD) Project. BOLD is a £19.7m cross government Shared Outcomes Fund project which will link data to enable better evidenced and more joined up cross government services. The Programme concludes in March 2024.
Through BOLD, we will explore data sharing to improve our understanding of the number of children with parents in prison and how parental incarceration impacts children’s outcomes, including education, employment and future offending.
Changes have been made to the Basic Custody Screening Tool to enable us to collect data on entry to prison about how many primary carers are in custody and how many children under the age of 18 are affected by their imprisonment. The learning from the data collected will be incorporated into the findings from the BOLD programme.