Integrating rehabilitative measures within and beyond the criminal justice response will include inter alia training of prison staff in the use of adequate risk assessment tools, psychological and mental health support, and engagement with families and community leaders.
The central GCTF document for such matters is the Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders, which takes up the Rabat Memorandum’s suggestion that prison systems should “prevent further radicalization of prisoners, prevent terrorist activities from being directed or supported from within the prison system, and provide for the de-radicalization and reintegration of prisoners into society where possible and thereby reduce recidivism.” The document includes sections on defining goals and objectives, the prison context, the role of different actors in prison, and reintegration components.
The intention of policymakers and practitioners is to:
- Ensure that individuals radicalized to violence eventually disengage from violent extremist groups
- Abandon violence
- Successfully reintegrate into society
The Addendum to the Rome Memorandum provides additional good practices related to the specific sorts of legal frameworks states may need to allow certain types of rehabilitation and reintegration measures. The IIJ’s Prison Management Recommendations to Counter and Address Prison Radicalization can also be a helpful guide for countries to determine how to handle terrorist suspects incarcerated prior to and during a trial, as well as for persons convicted of terrorist offenses and who are sentenced to prison.
Building on the general principles outlined in the Rome Memorandum, the UN Inter Regional Crime and Justice Institute (UNICRI) and the Government of Spain held a workshop that produced Additional Guidance on the Role of Religious Scholars and other Ideological Experts in Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programmes.
This additional guidance addresses issues such as:
- Specialized training and qualifications
- Classification of inmates
- Building a relationship of trust
- Protecting and vetting scholars and material, restorative justice
- Outreach to families and communities
A Tailored Approach
The rehabilitation and reintegration process, which ideally should start at the pre-trial stage, will require a tailored approach at the individual level, once again involving a wide range of actors, depending on the case itself. Depending on the assessed risk, alternatives to imprisonment such as reporting to the authorities, monitoring (e.g., with anklets or other electronic devices), community service, and/or voluntary participation in a reintegration program, could also be considered.
Both the Recommendations on the Effective Use of Appropriate Alternative Measures for Terrorism-Related Offenses and the Neuchatel Memorandum on Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context may prove useful in helping design such approaches. Given the scale of the FTF phenomenon, it is likely that over time many of the individuals requiring rehabilitation and reintegration will be returning FTFs, including disillusioned defectors.
Practitioners and policy-makers can consult the Addendum to The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon, which expands significantly upon Good Practice 19 regarding the development of comprehensive reintegration programs for returning FTFs.