Good Practice Number 15
Rehabilitation efforts could include cognitive skills programs.
In addition to mental health support, States could consider developing cognitive programs that assist offenders in defining the issues that pushed them towards violent extremist behaviors in the first place and subsequently in formulating objectives and identifying and implementing solutions.
Good Practice Number 16
Rehabilitation programs could include basic education courses where possible and appropriate.
Basic education, including literacy courses, math, history and civics, can open a world of understanding for prisoners and end their reliance upon other persons who tell them what to think. Improving the prisoner‟s educational abilities will increase their self-esteem, self-confidence, opportunities, and status within their communities. Education is often a direct antidote to the malign, violent extremist messages from their terrorist past.
Good Practice Number 17
Rehabilitation programs could include vocational skills training and employment assistance where possible and appropriate.
To successfully reintegrate into society, it is critically important that the inmate be employable and able to support his or her family. Employment can reduce the need and the appeal to rejoin a terrorist group and can facilitate the former inmate‟s reintegration into society. As such, vocational skills training and employment assistance could be important components of a rehabilitation program. Installing liaison between the prison service and employment services could be beneficial in matching the vocational skills training of the returning inmate to the employment market of the community and country.
Good Practice Number 18
States could encourage their prison authorities to consider finding ways to recognize the achievement of inmates in rehabilitation programs.
Prison authorities may wish to recognize the achievement of inmates who have completed education and vocational training programs with certificates or graduation ceremonies. These courses and certificates should not necessarily be provided by the governments, given the stigma this could carry; governments could instead encourage nongovernmental organizations and institutions to provide these types of training opportunities to inmates, as appropriate. This practice may give the inmate a sense of accomplishment and underscore the importance of what they have done to turn their lives around. Awarding certificates for graduation also may shed a positive light on their incarceration by highlighting positive milestones, instead of focusing on the punitive aspects of their prison time. Moreover, at different stages in the rehabilitation trajectory, prisoners could be required to certify that they have met certain educational, vocational, assessment and experience requirements as a prerequisite to obtain more freedom or privileges.
Good Practice Number 19
States could consider the use of incentives for inmates participating in rehabilitation programs, as appropriate.
Including incentives for inmates going through rehabilitation programs could help move the individual towards more pro-social behavior, and ease his or her transition back into society. These incentives can be carefully considered, and given with great care. There are a range of incentives that states could offer to inmates when they participate cooperatively in rehabilitation programs, including: enhanced visitation with family members; increased recreational activities; and other additional privileges or benefits while incarcerated. States could consider revoking these incentives and privileges in the case of violations of prison rules and codes of conduct or evidence of involvement in criminal activity during incarceration, while adhering to applicable human rights obligations.
Good Practice Number 20
States could consider developing aftercare programs, working in close partnerships with civil society organizations and communities, to enable the treatment to continue after the inmate has left the prison setting.
For a rehabilitation program to be successful, States can consider continuing the treatment after the inmate has left the prison. Developing a robust and effective aftercare and reintegration program, which can include on-going educational, vocational skills training, and rehabilitation programs to facilitate the inmate‟s transition back into society, demonstrates a continuing good will and provides an important support structure for the inmate at a potentially challenging time.
Good Practice Number 21
Consideration for protective measures could be given when there is credible information that a reformed violent extremist may face threats to his or her life, or the lives of family members, during or upon release from custody.
Some rehabilitated terrorists may be at risk of retaliation when transitioning back into society. Pre-release questionnaires could inquire if there are „threats to life‟ issues facing the individual or family members. Where such risks exist, States could consider the possibility of relocating the former inmate and the family to safer areas. The individual and family members could also be counseled on precautionary safety measures and security practices designed to reduce future risks.
Good Practice Number 22
Formal or informal, parole-like monitoring postrelease can be an effective method to deter or interrupt recidivism.
Close supervision and guidance can support and reinforce any pre-release agreements or contracts the inmate has agreed to upon release. Monitoring also can provide data that can be used to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs.
Good Practice Number 23
Families could be integrated where possible and appropriate into rehabilitation programs.
Families play an integral role in the success of rehabilitation programs and are particularly instrumental after release in keeping the inmate from returning to a life of terrorism. As such, rehabilitation programs could include inmate family members. This will help the family understand and be sympathetic to what the inmate is going through and be more readily able to provide a supportive environment for the inmate once he or she is released. There are cases where family members have contributed to the violent orientation of the inmate, and States could carefully weigh the family members‟ involvement in these situations based on a risk assessment – though there might be benefits to including such family members in the process in any case.
Good Practice Number 24
Fostering a welcoming and positive community environment for the inmate post-release is critical to long-term success.
Beyond an inmate‟s immediate family, the broader community is also important in setting the inmate on a path towards successful reintegration. This is particularly true in countries where tribes and clans play a significant role in communities. Having a positive, welcoming environment for the inmate – where the former inmate is accepted back into the community and where neighbours are helping ease their transition – is critically important. Encouraging community members to do informal post-release monitoring and counselling can reduce the possibilities for recidivism.