Suffering in the Shadows: the impact of drug-related incarceration on family members

FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2022 

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the International Network of Female Family Members of People in Prison (RIMUF), and the NNAPEs Platform (children and adolescents with incarcerated parents), Church World Service (CWS) and the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the International Organizations in Vienna cordially invite you to a UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs side-event:

Suffering in the Shadows: The impact of drug-related incarceration on family members

Over the last decade, the disproportionate impact of drug-related incarceration on women has garnered more and more attention. Worldwide, over a third of incarcerated women are in prison for drug-related reasons. This proportion rises to 50 and even 80 percent in several Latin American and Asian countries. Yet very little attention has been paid to the impact of the incarceration of women and men on their families and children.

Research carried out by CWS and the NNAPEs Platform in Latin America reveals both the astonishingly high numbers of children of parents incarcerated for drug-related reasons and the negative impact on their lives, including increased poverty, violence, stigma and discrimination, and difficulties in school. Once again, women bear a disproportionate burden, as they must provide for their families on their own, and are the ones who support men in prison through visits and the provision of food and other supplies. This led to the creation in 2020 of RIMUF, a network of 7 organizations in Latin America and Spain, led by women who are family members of people deprived of liberty.

This side-event included opening remarks by the Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the International Organizations in Vienna, which and was followed by presentations on the lived experiences of family members of people in prison and proposals for alternative approaches.

Watch the event here.

See event transcript here. 

Event Details:

Friday, March 18, 2022

Opening Remarks:

Ambassador Luis Javier Campuzano Piña

Permanent Mission of Mexico to

the International Organizations in Vienna


Andrea Casamento


UN Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture


Lucia Alvarado

Centro de Atención Integral de Familiares

con Personas Privadas de la Libertad (CAIFAM)


Cruz Alexandra Jiménez Sierra (13 years old)

Organización Proyecto CAMINANTE

Plataforma NNAPEs

Dominican Republic

Manuel Fleitas (16 years old)

Organización Gurises Unidos

Plataforma NNAPEs



Coletta Youngers

Senior Fellow, WOLA