Belgium’s handling of radicalization in prisons an example to other countries

Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:16
Belgium’s handling of radicalization in prisons an example to other countries © Belga
Radicalization in prison was discussed intensely this week in Brussels by representatives from 14 European countries who want to benefit from Belgian experience.
According to Minister of Justice Koen Geens, Belgium is a pioneer in the field of training on recognition of radicalization. 

Prison directors and policymakers, members of EuroPris (Independent European Organization of Prison and Correctional Services) participated this Thursday and Friday in a workshop dedicated to the recognition of radicalization. 

The problem worsened in Belgium after the 22 March 2016 terrorist attacks. "Work on this issue has been accelerated these last three years, if only because inmates will be released one day," the Minister’s Cabinet underlined. 

"We are doing our utmost to detect signs of radicalization in prisons. This topic is automatically covered in new officers’ basic training. Already active prison officers can receive training via an online learning module to be properly armed against radicalization," Geens said. 

Meanwhile, 456 prison officers have been trained on radicalization, and 70 other specialized sections employees have followed more advanced courses. 

The online learning module is proposed to all agents. It is aimed at the detection of signs of radicalization linked to extremist religious beliefs, as well as to right- and left-winged extremist political views. 

Developed through European funds, this module was first implemented in Belgium.

The Brussels Times
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