EUTEx: Developing a European framework for disengagement and reintegration of extremist offenders and radicalised individuals in prison, including returning foreign terrorist fighters and their families

Successful disengagement and reintegration of extremist and terrorist offenders is crucial – not least to prevent further terrorist attacks. While various practices have already been developed in individual countries, an evidence-based and specialised training as well as an improved risk assessment tool were needed for key staff working with terrorist and violent extremist offenders. EUTEx developed such a specialised training and tool. Their application will contribute to a decrease in terrorist and extremist violence and to a more secure Europe.

We have created a comprehensive European framework for the disengagement and reintegration of terrorist, extremist and radicalised offenders in the area of right-wing and Islamist extremism – which included working with women, children and communities. The EUTEx project worked with concrete and validated methods and conveyed them in a practical, hands-on training. The target group of the EUTEx framework are psychologists and social workers in prisons, probation services and NGOs.

The Evidence Base

In order to gain valuable insights on disengagement and reintegration, we have built a unique evidence base by mapping and evaluating existing promising practices in Europe, both through desk research and by interviewing 47 social workers and psychologists in Europewide. Additionally, we have assessed the effectiveness of existing forms of cooperation among involved stakeholders worldwide.

Online And Offline Training

Drawing upon the evidence base, we have designed comprehensive training modules on radicalisation, risk assessment, disengagement and reintegration. These modules cater to both online and offline learning formats and also address the reintegration of women, children, and communities. For example, among the concrete methods of disengagement taught are the working alliance, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and systemic counselling.

EUTEx Risk And Strength Assessment Tool

Based on risk assessment items, validated scientifically and in practice, we developed an innovative risk assessment tool and enhanced it to include strength assessment for case management, rehabilitation, and reintegration.

Project website
Watch the recording from the final conference

The article is written by Daniela Pisoiu, Senior Researcher at The Austrian Institute for International Affairs.

>>More about Violent Extremism Projects 

>>Read about CEP President Annie Devos at the EUTEx final event.


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