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Terrorist de-radicalization shows promise, comprehensive study finds
Date:7/2/2010

services should be more ambitious in promoting positive influences inside prison, and develop more innovative approaches to facilitate extremists' transition back into mainstream society. The current emphasis on security and containment of terrorists leads to missed opportunities to promote reform.

  • Over-crowding and under-staffing amplify the conditions that lend themselves to radicalization of inmates. Badly run prisons make the detection of radicalization difficult, and they also create the physical and ideological space in which extremist recruiters can operate freely.

  • Religious conversion is not the same as radicalization. Good counter-radicalization policies - whether in or outside prison - never fail to distinguish between legitimate expression of faith and extremist ideologies. Prison services should invest more in staff training, and consider sharing specialized resources.

  • Individual de-radicalization and disengagement programs - such as those in Saudi-Arabia, Singapore, Indonesia, and other countries - can make a difference. Their positive and outward-looking approach should serve as an inspiration for governments and policymakers everywhere.

  • Even in the best circumstances, de-radicalization and disengagement programs complement rather than replace other instruments in the fight against terrorism. They work best when the political momentum is no longer with the terrorists or insurgents.


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  • Contact: Neil Tickner
    ntickner@umd.edu
    301-405-4622
    University of Maryland
    Source:Eurekalert

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