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Migration and Home Affairs

Training for the prison sector

Target Audience
Prison / probationAuthorities
key themes association
Prison and probationTraining
Peer Reviewed practice


Rijksopleidingsinstituut tegengaan radicalisering, ROR

Originally, the National Counter Terrorism Coordination (Nationaal Coordinator Terrorisme en Veiligheid, NCTV) of the Ministry of Security and Justice was the owner of the training programme.

In 2015, the Academy for Countering Radicalisation (Rijksopleidingsinstituut tegengaan radicalisering, ROR) was established. It adopted the original training programme.

Since then, the ROR has expanded the scope of training modules and continues to develop it. New training modules have been added to the programme. The training modules are updated frequently (revised and adjusted to address the latest events and changing (social) contexts).

Type of Organisation: Governmental institution

Project description

The Academy for Countering Radicalisation (Rijksopleidingsinstituut tegengaan radicalisering, ROR) was established in order to create awareness among first-line practitioners working for the government and semi-government.

This is achieved by providing multiple training modules about the phenomena of radicalisation and (violent) extremism for professionals who work with or might encounter people who are either radicalised or at risk of radicalisation.

We offer two types of training for professionals in the prison sector.

  • A one-day basic training in which participants learn about the trigger factors, the importance of adolescence, the signs and how to interpret these. We strive to increase knowledge about possible signs of radicalisation among employees who are in direct contact with detainees. Participants (professionals) are not required to have any background knowledge prior to the training. (ROR-BM and ROR-BL training with a low entry level).
  • An in-depth four-day expert training for participants (senior professionals) to increase their knowledge about radicalisation and extremist organisations in the Netherlands. They also gain insight into the chain partners and reporting structures. They are trained to subsequently train their own staff in the future (ROR-C and SIAC training).

Currently, the development of a specific training module is nearing completion. The focus is on the phenomena and rise of so-called “lone actors” (Potentieel Gewelddadige Eenling, PGE-training).

Some professionals experience what we describe as “professional shyness” when working with or addressing people who are radicalised or at risk of radicalisation (think of individuals with a change in worldview, commitment in their ideology and/or religious beliefs). Therefore, the purpose of the training modules are as follow:

  • Create and/or increase awareness about the phenomenon of radicalisation (including its scope and current threat level), and increase knowledge about the infrastructure for reporting suspicions within prisons.
  • Make professionals aware of their personal opinions regarding radicalisation, and how these may affect their behaviour (for example being judgemental).
  • Highlight personal competences and skills and demonstrate how these can be used/operationalised in practice. The training modules contribute to a decrease in reluctancy amongst professionals working with radicalised subjects in prison, contributing to a decrease in “professional shyness”.

Participants become familiarised with radicalisation, (violent) extremism and its different forms through a PowerPoint presentation, several short film fragments (to illustrate certain phenomena). Also, interactive training exercises sometimes also use an actor. Participants receive a report with all the most important information discussed during the training and additional information.

Although the abovementioned training programme has been developed for the Dutch prison sector, it is also offered to a broad range of public sector professionals that (could) encounter radicalised persons or those at risk of being radicalised. The list of public sectors include Dutch municipalities, social welfare organisations, child protection services, youth workers, mental healthcare professionals, immigration agents, and professionals working within the judicial branch/law enforcement and so on.

In addition, we (ROR) are developing a curriculum consisting of different modules that are distinguished/specified based on a particular theme or domain/profession or skill. For instance, we will offer a training about Islamic extremism (religious radicalisation) or right-wing and left-wing extremism, or a two-day training programme for mental healthcare professionals focussing on radicalisation and (violent) extremism.

Professionals may participate in these in-depth training sessions after completing the one-day basic training about the phenomena of radicalisation and extremism. This ensures they have a certain entry level of knowledge.

This learning programme consist of three phases and will require a longer period of time (a learning trajectory of multiple years). We have noticed a growing demand for such a curriculum as well as the need to keep knowledge and skills up to date.

In the first phase, participants become acquainted with the topic of radicalisation and extremism through an electronic learning environment that is freely accessible. In the second and third phases, more in-depth knowledge is discussed in classroom meetings. Depending on the specific learning needs of our target audience, we can offer a training programmes consisting of one module or several modules combined.

A general and recurring focus within all training modules is on increasing professional skills through signalling and interpreting radicalisation; intercultural communication; stakeholder approach; and highlighting information sharing networks/structures. The latter is key since radicalisation is often a dynamic and non-linear process.

Our trainers are hired on a freelance basis and are all professionals with several years of professional experience in different fields and disciplines. They have thorough knowledge of issues related to radicalisation and extremism.

During the training, a PowerPoint, several short film fragments (to illustrate certain phenomena) and interactive training exercises are used, sometimes with an actor. In addition, participants also receive a workbook with additional information.


All training modules consist of face-to-face classroom meetings. Currently, we are developing specific E-learnings and information-chunks so participants are able to review additional information at home.

Contact details

Contact person: Johan Cats, Project leader
Telephone: (+31) (0)6 1557 3192 | (+31) (0) 8807 27000 | (+31) (0)88 07 27060
Email | Website

Read the full practice

26 MAY 2021
Training for the prison sector
(201.73 KB - PDF)