Radicalisation prevention article JUSTICE TRENDS

Multi-level in-Prison Radicalisation Prevention The R2PRIS approach and certification programme

The R2PRIS certification is a capacity building programme developed with the support of the European Commission and built as the result of concerted transnational cooperation between academia (1), private sector research (2), correctional sector (3) representatives and practitioners.

It aims both to certify professionals at different levels of the prison administration (prison governors, frontline officers and technical staff, internal trainers and facilitators) in using the tools that will enable them to identify risks, and screen and assess inmates that may be at risk of becoming radicalised, but also to teach other colleagues how to use these tools.

The R2PRIS approach and individual screening tools have been developed to be used with inmates that are suspected of being vulnerable to or in a radicalisation path and not the inmates that have been convicted of extremism-related violence or terrorism crimes or for being part of a terrorist organisation.

The certification process consists of an online and classroom training follow-up coaching session after implementing the tools. To support their work, certified professionals will have access to the R2PRIS methodological framework, training session materials (facilitator’s kit with training templates, manuals, and presentations), R2PRIS tools (includes the user’s manual of each tool, response forms and result report sheets), online resources and the complete R2PRIS online training course.

Tools What is it? Who should attend? Days of training Follow-up coaching
Helicopter view
An organisational risk assessment tool that aims to raise awareness and support prison governors/prison system administrators to reflect and assess situational dimensions in preventing radicalisation – factors related to prison/prison service and those present among inmates – and to identify the strategies and action plans that need to be implemented. Prison administration professionals, Prison Governors, prison service trainers and change facilitators ½-day online training 2 days training ½-day online session after the first implementation
Frontline Behavioural Observation Guidelines
An instrument developed to raise awareness about radicalisation in prisons and to support frontline staff (i.e.: prison officers, educators, teachers, social workers, etc.) in signalling behaviours/changes in behaviours that can represent the externalisation of cognitive radicalisation in inmates. Frontline staff trainers and change facilitators, senior frontline staff ½-day online training 2 days training ½-day online session after the first implementation
Individual Radicalisation Screening
Provides a broad assessment based on putative risk dimensions that have been identified in the scientific literature as pathways to radicalisation and violent extremism. Considering different behavioural, emotional and cognitive dimensions related to radicalisation, this assessment will provide a more detailed picture about the risks associated with the specific inmate being assessed identifying the level of vulnerability and the radicalisation stage. Prison staff with holding an advanced degree in the social, medical, or behavioural sciences and experience with forensic populations 1-day online training 2 days training Two half-day online sessions after the
first implementation

R2PRIS Readiness Assessment

CIRA Critical Incidents Readiness Assessment  An organisational risk assessment tool to raise awareness about risks and support prison governors/prison system administrators to reflect and assess the prison/prison service readiness to contend with major security emergencies. Prison administration professionals, Prison Governors, heads of security, prison service trainers and change facilitators. ½-day online training 2 days of training ½-day online session after the first implementation

Starting in 2015, R2PRIS Radicalisation Prevention in Prisons was a 3-year project supported by the European Commission, coordinated by the BSAFE LAB Law Enforcement, Justice and Public Safety Laboratory, within the UBI University, together with IPS_Innovative Prison Systems.

Bringing together international experts in the field of radicalisation and national prison administrations, it aimed to provide and pilot assessment tools and an innovative training programme for prison staff on how to recognise and prevent the process of radicalisation.

Specifically, R2PRIS aimed to create awareness of the broad scope of terrorism; the mindset and narratives used (through the understanding of: why prisons are a breeding ground for radicalisation, the difference between conversion, radicalisation and moving to extremist views (terminology), the pathways and levels of radicalisation, role in the network, recruitment tactics employed within the prison environment and indicators on how to identify vulnerable people at risk of radicalisation); to develop the tools and instruments for prison administration and line-level staff to recognise signs of radicalisation at an early stage within their specific facility; to provide common, consistent and effective instruments to help staff report their observations to the appropriate intelligence staff; to provide model procedures for intelligence staff to vet the data they receive from prison staff and to appropriately interpret it; to establish a series of training programmes and tools for all staff within a prison to respond appropriately to potential vulnerable individuals at risk of radicalisation.

The project team developed the R2PRIS methodological framework  as well as the “R2PRIS Radicalisation Prevention Toolset”, an assessment process that encompasses three assessment instruments, aiming at supporting a self-reflection and action planning process and or collecting data about the risks that may exist: 1) related to the prison environment; 2) among prisoners; 3) at the individual level (the Helicopter View, the Frontline Behavioural Observation Guidelines, and the Individual Radicalisation Screening).

The project team also developed the CIRA Critical Incidents Readiness Assessment, an organisational risk assessment tool to raise awareness about risks and support prison governors/prison system administrators to reflect and assess the prison/prison service readiness to contend with major security emergencies.

The “R2PRIS Methodology and Radicalisation Prevention Toolset” suggests a structured professional judgment approach where prison staff are systematically guided and have to make decisions about risk factors. A certification programme on the use of the R2PRIS approach and tools is required due to potential security and ethical concerns.

Generally, access to the certification programme is subject to a minimum of two professionals per jurisdiction.

For further details on how to get your prison staff certified, please get in touch with Innovative Prison Systems at ips@prisonsystems.eu, call the phone number +351 21 403 03 40 or  go to http://www.r2pris.org to learn more about the R2PRIS certification course and enroll in one of the next training courses (for prison professionals only).

(1) BSAFE LAB Law Enforcement, Justice and Public Safety Lab of the Beira Interior University (Portugal) and the Romanian Centre for Correctional Studies of the University of West Timisoara (Romania)
(2) IPS_Innovative Prison Systems
(3) Belgian Prison Service, Norwegian Prison Service, Romanian Prison Service, Turkish Prison Service, ICPA International Corrections and Prisons Association and EUROPRIS the European Organisation of Prisons and Correctional Services, having the Portuguese Prison Service and the Swiss Federal Penitentiary Training Centre as associated partners

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