Mother's Day celebrated everywhere, even prison

Mother's Day celebrated everywhere, even prison

Mother's Day will be celebrated nationwide on Sunday, with mothers in prison no exception.

Children visiting their mothers will be treated to a special day, Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

Corrections staff have organised a range of activities for children visiting their mothers in prison to acknowledge Mother's Day, Ms Collins says.

Approximately 20,000 children in New Zealand have a parent in prison, and days like Mother's Day can be tough, she says. 

At Arohata Prison in Wellington, prisoners have made a Mother's Day banner to greet their visitors, and children will take part in face painting and craft activities. At Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility prisoners in the Mother and Baby Self Care Unit will watch family movies.

Prisoners are able to send letters to their children and make phone calls from prison payphones to maintain relationships.  Positive family relationships can be key to an offender's decision to stop committing crime and be there for their children to ensure their lives don't take a similar path to prison.

"While Corrections provides tools such as education, rehabilitation and employment skills to reduce re-offending, family support can be a key motivator for someone to turn their life around," says Ms Collins.

Charity organisation Pillars also work with Corrections to support and advocate for the children of prisoners.

Research showed positive contact between a parent in prison and their child improved outcomes for the child, and reduces their anxiety.

"It is important that we remember that the children of prisoners are not responsible for their parents' offending," Ms Collins says.

"They deserve to feel safe, supported and loved in order to create a future for them that is free from the impact of intergenerational crime and imprisonment," Ms Collins says.