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Prison counter-radicalisation strategies: comparative analysis of the United Kingdom and Belgium

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Prison counter-radicalisation strategies: comparative analysis of the United Kingdom and Belgium

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This dissertation focusses on the prison counter-radicalisation strategies of the United Kingdom and Belgium. Both British and Belgium prisons have become breeding grounds for Islamic radicalisation. Therefore, both countries have come up with different strategies and measures to tackle the issue. Thus, this dissertation analyses how prison radicalisation is being countered by the United Kingdom and Belgium.

The research has been done by writing a literature review, conducting extensive desk research and writing case studies. The literature review examines the concepts of radicalisation, de­radicalisation, (violent) extremism and terrorism. For the research, secondary sources were used, such as academic articles, government documents and news articles. The case studies examine programmes of the United Kingdom and Belgium that are aimed at preventing and countering radicalisation. The case studies show how these programmes address the different stages and phases of the radicalisation process.

Overall, the research identifies how the United Kingdom and Belgium define radicalisation. Secondly, the research examines the causes of prison radicalisation. In addition, an overview is given of the prison-radicalisation strategies of the United Kingdom and Belgium. After this, the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of several strategies is given. Lastly, the role of the European Union concerning prison radicalisation is discussed.

Looking at the main results, it can be concluded that the United Kingdom has created clear strategies to tackle radicalisation. Unlike the United Kingdom, Belgium has used international insights concerning prison radicalisation and has developed action plans. These strategies and plans include measures to counter, address and prevent prison radicalisation. Even though both countries do have some similar measures, such as training the prison staff and separating radicalised prisoners, they also have their own unique measures. The United Kingdom has created risk assessment tools and Belgium has created a database to collect information of radicalised individuals. Whereas the United Kingdom mainly focusses on confronting, preventing and fighting radicalisation, Belgium focusses on preventing, protecting and repressing radicalisation
Finally, this dissertation recommends that the government of the United Kingdom should highlight the actual aim of the Prevent strategy, more research should be conducted to identify why some prisoners do radicalise and others do not, overcrowding and understaffing should be addressed and prison staff should receive updated training concerning Islam.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2019
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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