Training prison staff to recognize and respond to radicalization among inmates

Prison inmates are at a heightened risk for radicalization, but through specialized training, prison staff can play a key role in identifiying potential cases of radicalization and improving interactions with already radicalized inmates.


The structural conditions of prisons can make them a breeding ground for the radicalization of inmates. Since professional prison staff members are regularly confronted with inmates exhibiting extremist attitudes and behaviors, having the proper tools to respond is essential. Specialized training for recognizing radicalized behaviors can help prison staff to build and maintain constructive and open communication with inmates and, ultimately, counteract the spread of radicalization.


This is the goal of a project implemented in prisons in Saxony, Germany and supported by a foundation under the aegis of Fondation de Luxembourg. By offering both group and individual deradicalization trainings, staff of prisons and juvenile detention centers learn how to recognize warning signs and appropriately deal with radicalized inmates. Based on the questions and needs of the staff, the trainings present specific scenarios based on the various types of extremism they may encounter, and equip staff with action-oriented strategies.


Radicalized inmates or those at risk of radicalization often close themselves off from communication with prison staff. Having the right tools to handle these sensitive situations can help prevent the further spread of extremism.


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