Enabling imprisoned parents to maintain meaningful contact with their children, which in turn reduces reoffending.
By sending a story disc to their children, parents can bring comfort to their children and share the joy of storytelling from behind bars. Parents in prison record a bedtime story and message for their child on CD or DVD. Storybook Dads’ friendly team are there to help less confident readers and the editing process means that even non-readers can take part.
Storybook Dads believe that incarcerating a parent should not involve punishing their child.
In addition, maintaining family ties and reducing reoffending are inextricably linked. Over half of prisoners lose contact with their families but those that maintain contact are up to 6 times less likely to reoffend.
“My daughter wouldn’t speak to me on the phone, but since she got the DVD that’s all changed. It’s helped because it’s contact on her own terms. Instead of waiting for a phone call, she can play the DVD whenever she wants. As a long-termer it does make a difference. She talks about me now and has even shown the DVD to her friends. It helps her to relax and gives her confidence to talk to me and visit me”
Each year over 200,000 children have to cope with the imprisonment of a parent. Feelings of shame and abandonment can leave them confused and lonely and can be devastating to their well-being and performance at school. These children are one of the most disadvantaged groups in society and yet the issue is rarely acknowledged, let alone addressed. Storybook Dads gives imprisoned parents the chance to bring comfort to these vulnerable children whilst also helping to literacy skills for both parent and child.
Last year Storybook Dads helped over 17,700 prisoners and children.
Since they started in 2003, they’ve rolled out their scheme out to over 100 UK prisons, including women’s prisons as Storybook Mums.
of prisoners said that the project made their children feel happier because it showed that they were thinking of them.
of prisoners said that taking part in the project made them feel better as parents and has encouraged them to interact and read more to their children in the future.
of families said that the story CD, DVD or educational gift made the child feel closer to the absent parent or relative.