An increase in the number of terrorism-related offenders, including as a result of the return of foreign terrorist fighters back to their countries of origin, poses a set of new questions and challenges around the role of prison and probation services in developing sustainable approaches to violent extremist offender management and the role of corrections in promoting effective rehabilitation and reintegration. This practitioner exchange, organized by the Global Center (UK), took stock of the progress, lessons learned, and innovations around the management of violent extremist offenders over the last decade, the role of a range of governmental stakeholders, civil society actors, and communities in the effective reintegration of terrorism offenders, and examined current and future challenges in dealing with violent extremism within prison and probation services in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Participants discussed the challenges of developing effective violent extremism risk assessment tools, the evolution of sentence planning and management, and ways to align security and intelligence/information sharing measures to manage violent extremist offenders and radicalization with prevention, rehabilitation, and reintegration approaches.
Some key findings include:
- the need for stronger cross-agency and cross-services collaboration, trust building, and information sharing;
- the importance of tailored and responsive risk-reduction interventions that include a range of relevant actors beyond the prison service, such as family, friends, and gatekeepers;
- a strong necessity for adaptable and agile rehabilitation and reintegration strategies that adequately correspond to recipients’ needs and changing external circumstances;
- the importance of effective cross-border collaboration within Europe to share and learn from each other’s best practices in managing, rehabilitating, and reintegrating terrorism offenders.
This workshop is part of the Global Center’s Countering Violent Extremism in Prisons (CVE-P) Program, which includes a series of targeted trainings, capacity building, and ongoing support for frontline prison officials such as prison wardens, officers, assessment and interventions staff, counselors, and religious leaders who work with terrorism offenders on a daily basis. The aim of the CVE-P Program is to help them become more competent and confident in managing this population and more effectively identifying, assessing, and addressing radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism in prisons.