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Migration and Home Affairs
9 July 2024

Training for prison guards: ‘Identification of signs of radicalisation’

  • Belgium
Target Audience
  • Prison / probation
key themes association
  • Prison and probation
  • Training
  • 2024


Ministry of Justice

Type of Organisation: Governmental institution

Project description

At its root, this training need was identified through operational requirements in information flow and detection of radicalisation. The training addresses limited knowledge among prison staff on how to recognise signs of radicalisation. Staff appear to lack knowledge about simple signs as well as knowledge of the radicalisation process itself. As a consequence, they are not able to report signs of radicalisation to the relevant services. 

The training set up by the Belgian Ministry of Justice was devised to overcome this challenge. It is delivered over 2 days by an internal trainer from the prison service. 

The main focus of this training is on: 

  1. getting to know the process of radicalisation, 
  2. recognising different signs of radicalisation, 
  3. interpreting signs of radicalisation in relation to the external context in which they are perceived, and 
  4. reporting appropriately on these signs. 

The training was not developed from scratch. Training on radicalisation was already used by the federal police service and was known as ‘copra-training’. This was embedded in a philosophy of community policing. As such, copra-training required adaptation to be relevant for a penitentiary setting. In the adaptation, the Training Centre for Penitentiary Staff, psycho-social assessment departments as well as expert units on radicalisation within the Belgian penitentiary administration were involved. 

Setting up the training requires at least one simulation room to apply the observation skills learned.


This classical face-to-face training takes place in a classroom setting. Course participants receive handouts of the PowerPoint presentation and links for further study. The exercises, some with actors, take place in simulation rooms. Either real footage is used or fragments involving actors, games and computer games. Course participants are assigned take-home observation exercises.

Contact details

Contact person: Iris Naert
iris [dot] naertatjust [dot] fgov [dot] be (Email)

Contact person: Serge Lukacs
serge [dot] lukacsatjust [dot] fgov [dot] be (Email)

Read the full practice

9 JULY 2024
Training for prison guards: ‘Identification of signs of radicalisation’