Skip to main content
Migration and Home Affairs

Prevention of Radicalisation in Prisons HELP programme ONLINE Course

  • Belgium
Target Audience
  • Prison / probation
  • Health practitioners
key themes association
  • Prison and probation
  • Training
  • 2019


Belgian Prison Administration

Type of Organisation: Governmental institution

Project description

In many cases, staff members apply national guidelines without being aware that they have often been discussed in other high places such as the Council of Europe. Instructions concerning radicalisation are no exception.

Participating in the Council of Europe Programme on HELP was therefore a great opportunity to help participants understand the overall legal framework and European directives and to take a step forward on radicalisation by taking a broader view than just our country.

This opportunity also allowed us to:

  • raise awareness of the functioning of the Council of Europe and of the fundamental principles of human rights, particularly in the fight against radicalisation in prisons;
  • familiarise participants with the functioning and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (Belgian cases);
  • inform and familiarise participants in the HUDOC database (containing decisions of the European Court of Human Rights);
  • raise awareness of the distinction between freedom of expression and incitement to hatred;
  • raise awareness of internal and external factors that promote group membership and facilitate recruitment;
  • raise awareness of the harmful effects that prison can have in terms of radicalisation, but also of the preventive effects that can be developed there;
  • open the minds of participants to their creativity in order to reflect on possible actions in terms of prevention and interventions within prisons to prevent radicalisation.

The HELP programme of the Council of Europe creates online courses through the organisation of working groups.

The radicalisation prevention course includes seven modules, common to all states. It is the responsibility of the national tutor to adapt the content for their own country. This is done through homework, readings, quizzes, etc.

All modules were available in French.

For Belgium, we had four main mandatory modules, under the:

  • Introduction
  • International and European legal framework
  • Prison-specific module
  • Prison and probation module

The additional modules were:

  • Module for judges and prosecutors
  • Module for probation
  • Module: Foreign detainees, carried out by EUROPRIS (with the active participation of Isabelle Storme)

The course modules are located on a Council of Europe platform. Access is therefore via the internet. Please note: The course could be taken upon registration and prior enrolment. The entire process was supervised by a national tutor to motivate participants and supervise the process.


The various modules contain a lot of information and therefore require a lot of reading. Some illustrations are present, and the course is quite interactive.

The national adaptation made sense to focus on some particular points that could really be useful for the participants, such as consulting the database of the European Court of Human Rights. Participants were able to read a decision about a radicalised inmate in our country and the follow-up of the decision.

Contact details

Contact person: Sybille Genot (Belgian Prison Administration)
Sybille [dot] Genotatjust [dot] fgov [dot] be (Email) | Website

Read the full practice

Prevention of Radicalisation in Prisons HELP programme ONLINE Course