On behalf of the RAN PRISONS Working Group chairs Diletta Berardinelli and Nadya Radkovska, we are currently looking for participants with relevant expertise to take part in a meeting on ‘What is in the European prison toolbox of DDR programmes?’. The meeting will build on the RAN Policy & Practice event on evaluating disengagement, deradicalisation and resocialisation efforts (November 2019) and the RAN Policy & Practice Event on the challenges of resocialisation: Dealing with radicalised individuals during and after imprisonment (November 2018).
Background and aim of the meeting
In prison, practitioners are engaged in the disengagement, deradicalisation and resocialisation (DDR) of violent extremist or terrorist offenders (VETOs) and radicalised inmates. Currently, it is not clear what is out there in terms of DDR programmes. The RAN Rehabilitation manual stresses that serving the sentence represents a long period of time and a window of opportunity to focus on the rehabilitation of VETOs. Opportunities and challenges depend greatly on prison conditions, prison regimes and available interventions. The DDR approaches applied in prisons across the EU vary widely in terms of objectives and scope, actors delivering the programmes as well as types and length of interventions, among other factors. While some programmes ensure continuity of treatment between imprisonment and release, others are do not provide for a smooth transition after the sentence is served. The tools and methods used in DDR programmes also vary.
The goal of this meeting is to identify DDR programmes and transferable tools, as well as lessons learned in working with these programmes and needs of practitioners.
Key questions this meeting will address include:
- Which DDR tools are currently available to prisons and being used in the different MSs?
- Who is in charge of applying the available tools?
- What are the experiences of practitioners applying these programmes?
- Do they feel well equipped with the tools at hand to contribute to the disengagement, deradicalisation and resocialisation of VETOs and radicalised inmates?
- Is prison staff adequately trained to use them? What does good practice look like when it comes to applying DDR programmes in prisons, what are lessons learned and where do challenges, gaps and needs persist?
The outcome of the meeting and its conclusions will be shared with the policymakers 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 prison practitioners to voice their concerns and hopes for the future in a safe space protected by the Chatham House Rules.
Practitioners we are looking for are:
Directly engaged with VETOs in the prison context (or aiming to be so) in programmes for disengagement, deradicalisation and resocialisation.
- Prison staff: correctional officers, prison management, prison psychologists, probation officers, mental health and social workers, including cultural mediators;
- ‘External’ practitioners who work inside prisons with VETOs on DDR interventions such as mental health practitioners, exit workers, religious counsellors, volunteers, local administrative staff, and law enforcement.
In order to find the best suited participants, we would like to kindly ask you to briefly answer the following questions:
- What kind of disengagement, deradicalisation and resocialisation programmes or methods are applied in your prison?
- How do they differ from programmes offered to regular offenders?
- How is the eventual release of a VETO reflected in the programmes? Is a transitional phase between prison and probation included?
- Which challenges do you encounter in your work with DDR programmes or methods?
- What would you like to learn more about during this meeting?
If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please fill out this form by 14 October. 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, so participation cannot be guaranteed.
Please note, the meeting will be held in English (without interpretation).
- 26 September 2022
- Generaldirektoratet for Migration og Indre Anliggender