The Global Center delivered a training course on Countering Violent Extremism in Prisons for 22 prison officers from Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, Nairobi, Kenya. The training was the first in a series aimed at empowering prison staff to better manage terrorist offenders and address violent extremism in prisons. This training series is funded by the governments of Australia and the United States, and will be implemented in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and other regions in the future.
Following an opening by the Kenyan Principal Secretary for Correctional Services Mr. Micah Powon, participants examined some of the main challenges in the day-to-day management of terrorist prisoners and preventing violent extremism. The training module is highly interactive and participant-driven in nature, built around discussion sessions, case studies, and scenario exercises. In addition to delivering brief overviews of principal themes and international good practices, the trainers used questions, exercises, evaluation tools, and observations to help participants reflect on their current approaches and to consider creative, alternative methods to enhance how these issues are addressed.
Following four days of intense training, the participants developed a list of creative and practical recommendations that were presented to senior officials of the Kenyan prison service during the closing session of the training. These longer - and shorter-term recommendations pave the way towards fostering awareness, skills, and confidence among prison staff in relation to managing terrorism offenders and addressing (radicalization to) violent extremism in prisons, as well as creating an environment less conducive to violent extremism.