Utilize all legal sources for gathering information on what is happening within prisons as a way to identify potential violent extremist radicalization in prison.
Intelligence is a critical factor in prison management. The effective management of offenders requires the collaborative sharing of intelligence throughout their incarceration (pre-trial, post conviction and pre-release). The ability to collect, evaluate, collate, analyse and disseminate information related to offenders is critical to not only the safe operation of prison facilities but also the prevention of radicalisation to violent extremism. Prison intelligence systems aid in security, assist in intake, assessment and classification, and inform interventions and rehabilitative measures. Accurate intelligence information also assists prison management to make sound strategic decisions about prisoner placement and allocation of personnel resources and funding in the prisons to address security issues including the prevention of radicalisation of members of the larger prison population.
As with most elements of prison operations, how officials gather and utilize intelligence depends on a number of factors including their legal frameworks, cultures, and resources. Prison systems should have a central informationgathering unit, which provides prison management with accurate and timely information about radicalisation activities and improve prison security protocols. This is best accomplished by observing, documenting, and addressing the behavior of offenders. Regular written reports on each inmate is one approach to support consistent and individualized attention.
It is essential to make sure that intelligence is being utilized, analyzed, and shared since intelligence and operations need to be fully integrated. One way to make sure that intelligence is properly used is to maintain an intelligence database. Officials should consider how to engage relevant parties within the prison environment in gathering and reporting information. An essential aspect to getting information from inmates is to have an approachable staff and known reporting mechanisms, including protecting prison informants.
Inter-agency, inter-governmental and international sharing of information is central. Prison authorities need to work closely with law enforcement, prosecutors and other security agencies tasked with tackling extremism in order to avoid working at cross purposes. Correctional officers should be aware of how information will be utilized. Officials should consider appropriate protocols and procedures to put in place in order to share information internally and externally. In order to facilitate the sharing of information between all public safety sectors such protocols should be reciprocal. If outside agencies are involved in collecting intelligence from within the prison system, such efforts should be coordinated with prison officials to avoid disruption to the proper management of the prison or ongoing interventions. Correctional facilities are valuable sources of intelligence relevant to criminal justice and national security so there needs to be both in and out flows of intelligence information.
Monitor all forms of communication in order to detect any violent extremist radicalization, activities or plans.
Correctional officials should seek to monitor and control communications, including telephone calls, mail (electronic and postal) and in-person, to the extent permitted by law. This may help in the identification of violent extremist radicalization, activities or plans. Prison officials should ensure that inmates do not have unmonitored access to communication devices, including cell phones and computers. Communications between inmates should also be monitored, to the extent permitted by law. It is important that officials determine the appropriate controls on communication that are commensurate with the classification of the inmate. Moreover, the controls should be objective and transparent. The overarching point that officials need to consider when determining how to monitor communications is to achieve the appropriate balance between security concerns and an inmate’s need to maintain ties to family and the community as well as responsibly address potential issues surrounding attorney confidentiality.