The initial separation of mother and child will be one of the most painful aspects of imprisonment and, if not handled correctly, is likely to exacerbate negative emotions felt by the children during and post-custody. Several of the mothers, whose children were unprepared, felt that there were enduring emotional and psychological consequences for their children as a result of the way they were initially separated. Despite the benefits of telling their children, ‘many mothers feel unable to talk with their children about themselves, their crimes, and the complex circumstances surrounding them’. Although all prisoners’ children ‘are at greater risk of living in poverty and experiencing instability in caregiving’ during their parent’s absence. Most of the children spoke on the telephone to their mother regularly, which allowed the mothers ‘to participate in their children’s daily lives’ and to have ‘a larger role in making decisions and discussing problems with children and caretakers as they occur’.