Update 15th January 2017
The project team started their work in September 2015 with the development of the first Output, recently released in the report “R2PRIS Methodological Framework”.
Part I of the report presents a state of the art analysis on violent extremism and radicalisation in the prison environment, including the concepts, the main general explanatory frameworks, the phases, the pathways and levels of radicalisation, as well as the main indicators on how to identify vulnerable individuals at risk of radicalisation. This is followed by a collection of approaches and practices employed by prison services to tackle the phenomena in the four participating countries in the project: Belgium, Norway, Romania and Turkey. For this purpose, a data collection tool in the form of a survey was developed and deployed.
EuroPris also contributed to enrich this collection by inviting other prison services to participate in the data gathering process, namely from the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, England and Wales, Finland, Germany (Mecklenburg Western Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia States), Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, and Scotland.
Lastly, in part III, a methodological framework was developed to analyse radicalisation within prisons, based on the desk research findings and on the collected approaches and practices (see figure 1).
Figure 1 – R2PRIS Methodological Framework for analysing radicalisation within prisons
The core assumption of the framework is that it is not merely the presence of specific personal or environmental factors that determines a prisoner to take the path to radicalisation, but the interaction between these factors.
Regarding other R2PRIS outputs, the Radicalisation screening tool was already presented and is currently under review by the partners. As for the eLearning and classroom training courses, these are being developed by IPS Innovative Prison Systems since last December and will be ready for piloting in May 2017. The training course is structured as follows:
Figure 2 – Structure of the R2PRIS training course
Download here the “R2PRIS Methodological Framework” Report.
If you would like to know more about R2PRIS and/or contribute to the project, please get in touch with Pedro das Neves, IPS_Innovative Prison Systems, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radicalisation Prevention in Prisons (R2PRIS) project seeks to reduce radicalisation 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. Bringing together international experts in the field of radicalisation and national prison administrations, R2PRIS project aims to offer an innovative training programme for prison staff on how to recognise and prevent the process of radicalisation inside prisons.
Prisons are often described as “breeding grounds” for radicalisation 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. A key driver of radicalisation 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.
Radicalisation 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
- why prisons are a breeding ground for radicalisation;
- the difference between conversion, radicalisation and moving to extremist views (terminology);
- the pathways and levels of radicalisation, role in the network;
- recruitment tactics employed within the prison environment; and
- 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.
The following results are expected during R2pris project:
- An innovative methodological framework for analysing deradicalisation and prevention of radicalisation strategies within prison;
- A radicalisation screening tool, with respective assessment materials and guidelines for prison administration and line-level staff to recognize signs of radicalisation at an early stage within their specific facility. The tool will be adapted to the specific legal and cultural context of the countries involved in the project;
- A training course for all staff within a prison on how to detect and respond appropriately to potential vulnerable individuals at risk of radicalisation;
- An e-learning training course;
- A train the trainer course;
- Five national seminars with at least 15 national stakeholders/experts and 15 international participants each;
- An international seminar, with the participation of at least 30 transnational experts/stakeholders and 15 national participants;
- A handbook and online repository of best practices on radicalisation prevention in prisons, than can be used by trainers;
- Three short-term transnational staff trainings involving 18 participants each (1 team from each country.
Project Duration: September 2015 – 31st August 2018
Lead Partner: BSAFE LAB Law Enforcement, Justice and Public Safety Research and Technology Transfer Laboratory (University of Beira Interior, Portugal).
Project Partners: IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal); Belgian Federal Public Service of Justice (Belgium); EuroPris, European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (The Netherlands); ICPA International Corrections and Prisons Association (The Netherlands); Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service (Norway); National Prison Administration (Romania); Romanian Centre for Penitentiary Studies (Romania); Turkish Prison Administration (Turkey).
Att. Prof. Nuno Garcia, BSAFE LAB
University of Beira Interior
Rua Marquês de Ávila e Bolama