Deradicalisation and Disengagement Programming in Prisons and Rehabilitation Centres

Published by CT MORSE

Deradicalisation and Disengagement

The concepts of deradicalisation and disengagement and are often applied in parallel, with the former generally interpreted in terms of attitudinal change (i.e. reducing sympathy for such violence), and the latter relating instead to behavioural change (i.e. no longer directly contributing to violence). The number of programmes aiming to achieve these objectives has increased substantially over recent years, including in locations such as Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, and Yemen. While the effects of Preventing / Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) programmes is notoriously difficult to measure, there is a strong case that such initiatives have the potential to deliver greater 'bang per buck' than other intervention types, for the reasons discussed in this paper. Of course, optimising efforts to counter this violence should clearly be of importance to the EU both on moral grounds (in relation to addressing violence in the countries in which interventions occur), and as a matter of 'enlightened self-interest' (as there is a continued threat of this violence being imported to Europe). Of course, the risks associated to such programmes are also prominent, precisely because they provide an existential threat to violent extremist organisations. This paper covers a range of themes relating to disengagement and deradicalisation programmes, including their activities, staffing considerations, facility upgrades, segregation policies, how to determine their success (or failure), and criteria through which to assess suitable locations for such initiatives.