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Migration and Home Affairs
News announcement19 June 2023BarcelonaDirectorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs3 min read

Call for participants: RAN PRISONS - The role of prison leadership to ensure minimum standards for P/CVE work in the prison environment, Spain 12-13 September 2023

Tuesday 12 September (9.00 – 17.30) and Wednesday 13 September 2023 (9.00 - 12.30), breakfast to lunch. This meeting will take place in Barcelona, Spain.


The RAN PRISONS Working Group is currently looking for participants with relevant expertise to take part in a meeting on ‘The role of prison leadership, policy and administration to ensure minimum standards of the prison environment and P/CVE work’.

This meeting will be held in collaboration with the Centre d’Estudis Jurídics i Formació Especialitzada (CEJFE) - Centre for Legal Studies and Specialised Training (CEJFE) of Catalunia, Barcelona. We will learn about the Catalan and Spanish prison system, how the work with inmates vulnerable to radicalisation or VETOs is organised, and how radicalisation risks are identified and addressed. To that end, we will visit a juvenile prison facility in Barcelona and learn about good prison leadership models and their role in enabling effective P/CVE work tailored interventions and trainings for staff. Participants will then have the chance to reflect on the experiences in their own contexts and identify transferable practices in relation to prison leadership models.

Background and aim of the meeting

The penitentiary system faces and tries to manage high public expectations in the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist or terrorist offenders (VETOs); some would say the expectations are higher than ever. Many good practices and tools exist for P/CVE work in the prison environment and have been identified within the RAN (e.g. reinforcing the concept of dynamic security, ensuring multi-skillset trainings for prison staff), but their actual take-up in daily practice and their sustainability depend largely on organisational support provided by prison management and policy.  

The goal of this meeting is to identify, examine and share good practices concerning the minimum standards prison and policy should provide to implement and sustain P/CVE work. It also aims to identify good prison leadership models that enable P/CVE work and facilitate the implementation of DDR interventions.

Key questions this meeting will address include:

  • What are the minimum standards needed in order to work on P/CVE in prison?
  • What are the challenges and solutions from the prison management perspective for identifying and preventing radicalisation in prison?
  • How can prison leadership facilitate P/CVE work in prison? What requires a change of policy, and what requires organisational changes at the prison level?
  • What are the organisational changes undertaken by prison management in different contexts to enable good P/CVE work and the implementation of DDR programmes?
  • What are good examples of training programmes for prison staff on P/CVE, and what is the role of prison management in facilitating those?
  • What are the experiences of practitioners applying DDR programmes in prison? What are some good practices facilitated by prison management, and what are the challenges associated with them?
  • What are the most functional and effective prison leadership models that contribute to reducing reoffending and preventing/countering violent radicalisation?
  • Is it possible and/or desirable to share leadership with prisoners? What positive effect could that lead to?

The outcome of the meeting and its conclusions will be shared with the policy makers of the Member States and might feed into the agenda of RAN Practitioners, RAN Policy Support (Member State policy makers and researchers) and the European Commission. It is an opportunity for practitioners to share their experience, and voice their hopes and concerns for the future in a safe space protected by the Chatham House Rule.  

Practitioners we are looking for: 

The target audience for this meeting directly engages with VETOs in the prison context (or aims to do so) in the field of P/CVE.

  • Prison management and administration staff; 
  • ‘External’ practitioners who work inside prisons with VETOs on DDR interventions such as mental health practitioners, exit workers, local administrative staff and law enforcement staff. 


If you are interested in participating at this meeting, please fill out this form by 1 August. We will invite participants based on the information provided therein.

Please keep in mind that we only have a limited number of places available for this meeting to foster exchange, so participation cannot be guaranteed.

Please note that the meeting will be held mostly in English (without interpretation). There might be Spanish to English interpetation during the prison visit.

If you have any further questions, please don´t hesitate to contact niv [dot] zonisatviolence-prevention-network [dot] de (Niv Zonis) and rositsa [dot] dzhekovaatviolence-prevention-network [dot] de (Rositsa Dzhekova).



Publication date
19 June 2023
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs