Radicalization Prevention in Prisons
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2018
The deadly attacks in Madrid (2004), London (2005), Glasgow (2007) and Stockholm (2010), followed by the foiled attempts and arrests in Copenhagen (2010) and Berlin (2011) and the recent attack in France (2015) have all contributed to move back the issue of violent extremism and radicalisation up on the European political agenda.
Prisons are often described as “breeding grounds” for radicalization and violent extremism, since they are highly unsettling environments in which individuals are more likely than elsewhere to explore new beliefs and associations. Deprived of their existing social networks and given the conditions of their confinement, prisoners with no previous involvement in politically motivated violence are vulnerable to being radicalised and recruited into terrorism. While the extent of the problem remains unclear, the potential for prison radicalisation is significant, and the issue clearly needs to be addressed.
A key driver of radicalization prevention in prisons is the training and awareness raising of the staff. First line workers have been identified as a key group that can make an important contribution to this issue and include prison and probation staff.
Radicalization Prevention in Prisons (R2PRIS) Project seeks to reduce radicalization and extremism inside prisons by enhancing the competences of frontline staff (correctional officers, educational staff and psychologists, social workers…) to identify, report and interpret signals of radicalisation and respond appropriately.
Specific goals include:
1. Create awareness on the broad picture of terrorism, the mind set and narratives used by understanding a) why prisons are a breeding ground for radicalisation; b) the difference between conversion, radicalisation and moving to extremist views (terminology); c) the pathways and levels of radicalisation, role in the network; d) recruitment tactics employed within the prison environment; and e) indicators on how to identify vulnerable people at risk of radicalisation;
2. Develop the tools and instruments for prison administration and line-level staff to recognize signs of radicalisation at an early stage within their specific facility;
3. Provide common, consistent and effective instruments to help staff report their observations to the appropriate intelligence staff;
4. Provide model procedures for intelligence staff to vet the data they receive from prison staff and to appropriately interpret it;
5. Establish a series of training programmes and tools for all staff within a prison to respond appropriately to potential vulnerable individuals at risk of radicalisation.
Bringing together international experts in the field of radicalisation and national prison administrations, R2PRIS project offers an innovative training programme for prison staff on how on how to recognise and prevent the process of radicalisation inside prisons.
The project's target group is composed of 180 prison professionals from 5 different countries (Portugal, Norway, Turkey, Belgium and Romania) which will undergo a training programme with 5 components and 160 sessions of 3 hours per course: class, online, short-term staff training, work-based assignments and coaching/consultancy. An e-learning course will be developed and also a train the trainer course. Three short-term staff training events will also be conducted. To disseminate the project's results, 5 national seminars and one international seminar are foreseen.
As short-term effects, the trainees will gain the necessary knowledge and tools to recognise and prevent the process of radicalisation inside prisons. The potential positive and long-lasting impact of R2PRIS project are the increase of awareness of prison systems in Europe to the issue of radicalisation, and the reduction of radicalisation and violent extremism in the community.
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