Radicalisation and the dangers caused by extremists to European countries are a paramount concern of the criminal justice system. This international conference for experts in the field offered an opportunity to review the development of interventions and set the agenda for future collaborative work.
- To examine the learning from programmes to combat radicalisation in prisons and probation
- To consider the benefits of multi-disciplinary collaboration and restorative justice for future developments
- To identify the future priorities and needs of policy and practice.
- Learning points from specific programmes identified
- Examination of the benefits of integrating approaches through workshops involving different professionals (prisons, probation and restorative justice)
- Dissemination of the presentations, findings and recommendations via the CJPE members’ websites
- To propose next steps for the Criminal Justice Platform Europe’s contribution to the radicalisation agenda.
The Platform organised this event on radicalisation and extremist violence because the issue was becoming an urgent priority for its members and to provide an opportunity to review progress using expert perspectives.
Terrorist attacks within the EU territory over the last decades, combined with the still unresolved tensions in various parts of the globe, have sparked international concern about radicalisation processes and calls for a more incisive and concerted response from the Member States. International efforts have been focussing particularly on preventive measures to tackle the problem of radicalisation within prisons, as a fertile setting for indoctrination and recruitment of vulnerable subjects, and on efforts to manage foreign fighters coming back from combat zones to EU countries.
The creation of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) in 2011, an umbrella of practitioners and local actors involved in countering violent radicalisation, attests the strong commitment of EU bodies to tackle the problem of radicalisation and the negative consequences it poses to freedom, security and justice of the citizens in the EU. The European Agenda on Security of 28 April 2015 stresses the link between extremist violence and radicalisation processes, which may lead fighters from Europe to travel abroad to train, fight and commit atrocities in combat zones, jeopardising the internal security of the EU on their return. In addition to further research on the topic of radicalisation and programmes for the promotion of youth inclusion, the European Agenda on Security 2015 focuses in particular on strategies supporting de-radicalisation processes in prison settings.
In line with this growing international concern related to radicalisation and violent extremism and preceding the High-Level Ministerial Conference on radicalisation taking place in Brussels, the Criminal Justice Platform Europe (CJPE) organised a one-day conference entitled “RADICALISATION AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM – Disengagement, prevention, monitoring” at the Centre for Legal Studies and Specialized Training in Catalonia on Wednesday, 14 October 2015. In the three plenary sessions experts, policy-makers and practitioners from different EU countries reflected on the concept of radicalisation, exchanged national policies implemented to prevent further radicalisation processes within prison settings or probation and shared successful programmes facilitating disengagement strategies for radicalised people. The participants and speakers had the chance to discuss some of the issues raised during the plenaries sessions in more detail in two parallel workshop sessions. Participants and speakers engaged in very lively debates, sharing further details of experiences and practices in the different contexts. Before closing the event with the presentation of Mr Marc Ceron, President of CEP, the round table provided an additional space for dialogue, bringing in new ideas which had emerged during the event and stimulating participants’ further reflection.