Children, Mothers and the criminal justice system

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Every year, a substantial number of children are confronted with the detention of their primary caregiver, which in most cases is their mother. Empirical research shows that the well-being of children is seriously affected by their mother's imprisonment, although to date no study has been able to assess whether detention of a mother as such causes long-term damage. Starting from normative pedagogical principles, this article argues that mothers who are active caretakers of their children should not serve a prison sentence while their children are underage. The interests of children are a sufficient reason to prevent 'collateral damage' to their well-being - unless it is evident that other reasons either related to the well-being of children or society have to overrule this principle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
JournalReview of European Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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