Radicalisation prevention in prisons
Radicalisation prevention in prisons could only but start with first line practitioners, who need to be aware this phenomenon signals, and know how to seek support to address it.
The radicalisation phenomenon can happen at three levels: individual, group, or mass public; but whatever the level it involves change in attitudes, ideology, beliefs, motivations, ideals, goals, aspirations, and/or behavior. Such extreme changing aspects may be related to political, social, religious or societal issues, and, as a result, radicalised people may advocate, support, practice violence or/and terrorism to achieve their goals.
Radicalisation tends to develop gradually over time. Prisons can be a breeding ground for radicalisation, given that they present several risks, such as the recruitment of other prisoners, the support of extremist groups from prison; getting support from extremist groups outside prison; preparing for violent extremist/ideological inspired illegal acts after release; hostility to other groups of prisoners and/or staff; becoming more radicalised because of the frustration and anger related to being in prison.
Prevention efforts are indispensable, starting with first line practitioners, who need to be aware of signals of radicalisation and know how to seek support to address the phenomenon.
A multi-agency approach and cooperation are also necessary, in order to provide consistent and reliable networks. The latter should consist in combinations between law enforcement, professional care organisations, NGO’s and communities.
IPS can support your organization:
- creating staff awareness on the broad picture of radicalisation and extremism;
- Implement tools and instruments for prison administration and staff to analyse risks and recognize signs of radicalisation;
- Provide instruments to help staff report their observations to intelligence officers;
- Implement training programmes and tools for all staff to respond appropriately.