It is estimated up to 6,000 children will have a parent in prison this Christmas.
The Prisoners and Family Reintegration report has revealed how prisoners’ children are at a much greater risk of experiencing negative educational, behavioural and emotional outcomes.
The report, commissioned by the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI), found that the children affected are more likely to perform poorly at school and had a greater risk of developing problems with separation anxiety and anger as well as behavioural disturbances.
This new research highlights that continued positive links with children and family during imprisonment is proven to reduce these risks and calls for more supports for prisoners and their families.
It also notes previous research that found that prisoners who have good bonds with their families on release are 53% less likely to re-offend than those who do not.
Former prisoner James Bowes spent 15 years behind bars and said there are a number of challenges when someone is released.
"When prisoners are inside themselves it's like they're caught in a bubble and the time bubble doesn't move for them whereas life outside continues on.
"You've got the problems with children growing up, getting older, establishing themselves within the family itself.
"The parent, the mother, doing both jobs, she's a dual role as the mother and father and then you have the man coming out and thinking that his 13-year-old is actually still only three years of age."