Assessing the risk of radicalisation in prisons and recognising the need for structured institutional strategies to overcoming the contributing factors are at the heart of the contemporary radicalisation prevention approaches in Europe.
On 13 November 2020, the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a public discussion, where a team of CSD experts presented the objectives, approach and results achieved during the implementation of the “Integrated community, probation and prison services radicalisation prevention approach” (INTEGRA) initiative. Among its multifaceted goals, INTEGRA aims to improve the transition process between life in correction facilities or probation environment and life back in the community, targeting people who find themselfs at risk of radicalisation or who have already been radicalised before or during serving their sentence.
As part of the initiative, experts from the Center for the Study of Democracy developed a pilot tool for assessing radicalisation risk in prisons. The risk assessment tool examines in detail a range of threats and risks observed in the penitentiary systems of the four countries at focus - Bulgaria, Greece and France and Portugal. The team took part in conducting a number of local and international trainings in all four participating countries, which aimed to provide prison and probation officers’ theoretical knowledge and practical skills for working with people at risk of radicalisation or radicalized offenders. Through the joint staff trainings of frontline practitioners from all four countries, fine tuning and testing of the dedicated e-learning platform, an innovative tool in the field, as well as through rolling out a mentoring model for people at risk, the participants from the prison and probation administrations and their colleagues from community organizations working with inmates and former offenders were provided with knowledge and skills to identify first signs of radicalisation and develop and implement effective interventions towards deradicalisation and reintegration of inmates into society.