Ireland: adverse motherhood experience

Can the impact of mother's imprisonment be mitigated?

< image © Valentin Lombardi.

The number of women incarcerated throughout the world is steadily increasing. Many of these are mothers and Ireland is no exception. The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) published, in March 2023, a study on maternal imprisonment. It examines the numbers and experiences of mothers imprisoned in Ireland, as well as those of their children, and makes recommendations for action.

Ashling Tobin works at IPRT as Children & Families Initiative Project Coordinator. She was involved in preparing the report. Prison Insider asked her three questions.

This interview is part of the series Outward Bond (coming soon).

In many cases, children already face material hardship and social disadvantage, and the maternal imprisonment exacerbates the situation.

The lack of comprehensive sentencing data makes it very difficult to determine the extent to which motherhood is considered in sentencing.