European Prison Observatory: Strategies and Programmes for De-radicalization and Risk Assessment

About the Project

The aim of this EU (DG Justice) financed project is to evaluate strategies and programmes which prevent, deter and counter radicalization in prison including detention centres in seven European countries. Here promising practice examples regarding de-radicalization, disengagement and rehabilitation programmes and risk assessment tools will be identified and analysed. Furthermore, the project enhances the exchange of knowledge between the participating countries.

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) acts as a national partner and evaluates the Austrian situation by researching de-radicalization programmes and measures, including risk assessment tools from a human rights perspective.

The project focuses on already proved and tested as well as innovative approaches to combat radicalization in prisons. In doing so, particular attention is paid to gender, youth and the principle of non-discrimination.

The guiding questions are:

  • Which programmes and measures open up a new future perspective for youth aside from their terrorist and/or extremist past?
  • Which measures reduce the risk of recidivism, and thus ensure public safety after the release?

In addition to reintegration into society, the notion of prevention is paramount, e.g. to avoid radicalization in detention by other inmates. In this context, programmes that have been developed as an alternative to detention, such as diversion measures or community services, seems to be promising.

The participating national partners are elaborating national reports on the respective legal situation, strategies, programmes and political measures, and identify examples of promising practices in the field of de-radicalization. To guarantee an exchange of information and results, project meetings and national conferences are scheduled.

In autumn 2019 a comparative report on prison de-radicalization strategies and programmes will be published. It will further include recommendations addressing European and national policy-makers. The European network RAN,  the Radicalisation Awareness Network, will be used for disseminating the final results. The outcomes and recommendations of the project will raise the awareness of practitioners, such as correctional officers, prison wardens, prison psychologists, probation experts etc. as well as policy-makers and support them in their daily work.

On 9 April 2019 the LBI-GMR and the Federal Ministry for Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice hosted a conference on “Strategies and Programmes for De-radicalization and Risk Assessment in Prisons”.

Project Data

Country: Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Lithuania, Germany, Greece
Persons involved: Moritz Birk, Philipp Hamedl, Nora Katona (Project Leader)
Contact persons: Nora Katona
Lead Organisation: Associazione Antigone Onlus (IT)
Partner organisations: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR, AT); Fachhochschule Dortmund (DE); European Public Law Organization (GE); Associazione Antigone (IT); Università degli Studi di Torino (IT); Latvian Centre for HR (LV); OSPDH (E); ISCTE (P)
Project start: 11/2017
Project end: 10/2019
Funded by: Europäische Kommission (DG Justice); Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich; Bundesministerium für Verfassung, Reformen, Deregulierung und Justiz
Programme Line LBI-GMR: Human Dignity and Public Security