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Migration and Home Affairs
News announcement22 February 2023Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs

Call for participants RAN REHABILITATION WG Meeting - The time aspect of rehabilitation, 04 April 2023

Tuesday 04 April 10.00 – 16.00h CET - This meeting will take place online.


Background and aim of the meeting

Due to the highly individual nature of the process, it is difficult to determine an exact timeframe required for the rehabilitation of individuals leaving a violent extremist group and/or abstaining from radical thoughts. The myriad of factors involved in how long this process might take include the willingness of the client to accept help, how quickly trust can be built between client and counsellor in order for the client to open up emotionally, as well as external factors in the client’s immediate environment, such as whether or not a support network exists. Overall, there is a hesitancy from exit practitioners and organisations to label interventions successfully completed and thus assessing a client as conclusively rehabilitated.

As set out in the RAN REHAB Manual, for violent extremist offenders who entered the criminal justice system, the period they spend in prison represents the longest window of opportunity to focus on rehabilitation. During this timeframe, reflection on and distancing from the extremist ideology and network, as well as past ideologically motivated crimes can be initiated, as well as reintegration efforts after release, including early contact with families, communities and local authorities. Rehabilitation does not exclusively take place within the criminal justice system however, as radicalised/extremist individuals that have not entered or already left the judicial process may also chose to join exit programmes.

The (limited) timeframe available for rehabilitation work plays an important role for practitioners when designing an exit intervention. It is thus crucial to raise awareness on the time aspect of rehabilitation and to provide guidelines on how to deal with resulting challenges in practice.  

Key questions this meeting will address include:

  • How do you deal with the timeframe (length, flexibility, caseload) you have to work in?
  • What are different experiences when it comes to the timeframe?
  • Part of the rehabilitation programmes have a limited timeframe, e. g. in probation. This raises the question what can be done within this time span?
  • What are feasible expectations for the participant, those who commission the intervention and the involved practitioners?
  • When is a rehabilitation intervention complete (are there specific milestones to consider?) and should the client be able to go on independently? How to evaluate this? 
  • How to deal with clients that do not feel ready yet? 
  • How can interventions be adjusted according to the timeframe?
  • What are limitations in shorter / longer timeframes? Is there an ideal timeframe?
  • What is the relationship between the length of the intervention and the level of risk of reoffending?
  • How do you communicate with your clients about how long the rehabilitation process might take and for how long you will be able to support them?
  • How to do good expectation management in this regard? 
  • Are practitioners overstretching themselves by trying to make a given timeframe work?
  • How do you evaluate to see if your timeframe (either imposed or self-chosen) is providing the desired results?  

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, and the European Commission. It is an opportunity for exit and probation practitioners to voice their concerns and hopes for the future in a safe space protected by the Chatham House Rule.

Practitioners we are looking for are:

The target audience for this meeting are exit and probation practitioners involved in the rehabilitation of individuals leaving a violent extremist group and/or abstaining from radical ideology. 

In order to find the best suited participants, we would like to kindly ask you to briefly answer the following questions: 

  • What is your experience with the rehabilitation of radicalised individuals as a practitioner?
  • What role does time play in your work as practitioner working on rehabilitation?
  • What are challenges you encounter related to time?


If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please fill out this form by 13 March. We will invite participants based on the information provided therein. Please keep in mind that we only have a limited amount of places available for this meeting to foster exchange, so participation cannot be guaranteed.  

Please note, the meeting will be held in English (without interpretation).

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Alexandra KORN and Maarten VAN DE DONK.



Publication date
22 February 2023
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs