General features of reintegration and aftercare programmes

  • Reintegration and aftercare programmes are most effective where the penitentiary and criminal justice system are well ordered and respect human rights. Reintegration programmes should start at the point of detention, and the whole period of detention should reinforce their aims.
  • Member States should have an effective classification system to identify different categories of violent extremist inmates (leaders and ideologues; middle-level; followers), as they require different interventions and approaches in preparation for reintegration.
  • The reintegration programmes should aim to change the cognitive, behavioural and attitudinal characteristics of the inmate. To this end, critical thinking and problem solving skills are effective tools in resisting the propaganda of possible recruiters. Religious counselling is also of value, both for the inmate and for the family. Strengthening education and employment opportunities through basic courses and vocational training is also of fundamental importance.
  • Governments should make particular effort to help ex-offenders to find jobs. This will often be difficult for them to do on their own, but will be an important step towards successful and long term social and economic reintegration. Governments should seek public/private partnerships in this context.
  • During the aftercare period psychological and religious counselling should continue, as well as employment assistance and support to the family (including financial support if necessary).
  • Counselling or other assistance should form part of a more general programme to monitor and evaluate changes in the attitude, behaviour and environment of the ex-offender.
  • Full consideration should be given to the security requirements of all those involved in delivering the reintegration and aftercare programme.