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The R2Pris Project – Radicalization Prevention in Prisons

R2Pris, Radicalization Prevention in Prisons, is a consortium of 6 European countries and ICPA, EuroPris, the European Centre for Penitentiary Studies, the Beira Interior University law enforcement, justice and public safety research and technology transfer lab and IPS_Innovative Prison Systems. The 6 participating nations are Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, and Turkey.

The goals of the project are to:

  1. Create awareness on the broad picture of terrorism, the mind set and narratives used by understanding
    • why prisons are a breeding ground for radicalization;
    • the difference between conversion, radicalization and moving to extremist views (terminology);
    • the pathways and levels of radicalization, role in the network;
    • recruitment tactics employed within the prison environment; and
    • indicators on how to identify vulnerable people at risk of radicalization;
  2. Develop the tools and instruments for prison administration and line-level staff to recognize signs of radicalization 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 programs and tools for all staff within a prison to respond appropriately to potential vulnerable individuals at risk of radicalization.

The working group has met two times, once in Portugal and once in Norway to review progress. Much of the work is done by individual partner organizations, shared via a program management software program called Teamwork and monitored by IPS_Innovative Prison Systems project staff. The material developed to date includes a draft of radicalization screening tools and a comprehensive dissemination plan (under the leadership of ICPA). Several models of training programs have been reviewed as well as background information on why and how individuals become radicalized.

Expected results of the project, which will end August 31, 2018 include:

  1. An innovative methodological framework for analyzing deradicalization and prevention of radicalization strategies within prison;
  2. A radicalization screening tool, with respective assessment materials and guidelines for prison administration and line-level staff to recognize signs of radicalization 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;
  3. A training course for all staff within a prison on how to detect and respond appropriately to potential vulnerable individuals at risk of radicalization;
  4. An e-learning training course;
  5. A train the trainer course;
  6. Five national seminars with at least 15 national stakeholders/experts and 15 international participants each;
  7. An international seminar, with the participation of at least 30 transnational experts/stakeholders and 15 national participants;
  8. A handbook and online repository of best practices on radicalization prevention in prisons, that can be used by trainers;
  9. Three short-term transnational staff trainings involving 18 participants each (1 team from each country).

The ICPA Staff Training and Development Committee has developed a draft training program for line-level staff that will be included in discussion of goal 3 above. We will also participate in the national and international seminars. It is anticipated that the products of this project will be very helpful to prison administrations and staff in all of the nearly 80 nations with ICPA members.

Author: Gary Hill, Chair ICPA Staff Training and Development Expert Group