Topic: Radicalization & Violent Extremism in Prisons
Delegate Name: Jasmeher Singh
With the emergence of terrorist groups/attacks internationally, it’s essential for the UN to devise a plan of action to help prevent radicalization and violent extremism in prisons. Argentina recognizes that preventing radicalization starts with reforming the prison systems which often allow vulnerable people to be negatively affected. Incarcerated persons are often subjected to dehumanizing conditions within prison systems and often don’t have the support to go back out into society after serving their sentences. They are also bound to the prison systems and often form relationships with people there. This can result in radicalization from different groups of people which has seemingly been the case for some time now. Furthermore, prison systems are often extremist environments where violence takes place. Ensuring that prison systems are reformed and that vulnerable persons aren’t harmed in this process is essential when addressing this problem throughout the committee.
Argentina is aware of our high incarceration rates and recognizes the need for reform in prison systems in our nation. With 249 out of 100,000 people incarcerated in Argentina, we understand that the prison population trend is increasing. Furthermore, the number of institutions/establishments in Argentina is also increasing and is at a record high of 324 which is a relatively high number compared to the rest of the world. Argentina looks favorably upon minimizing overcrowding within prisons as overcrowding can cause radicalization to spread quickly. While radicalization isn’t necessarily unwelcome within unhealthy prison environments it can lead to extremist thought. Extremist thought after leaving the prison system can turn into violent extremism. Therefore, Argentina believes that separating radical thinkers from susceptible prisoners is necessary. Additionally, minimizing overcrowding within prison systems can help with fixing the extremist environment in prisons. This in turn can also help with creating a safer and cleaner environment for inmates within prison systems. Argentina’s own occupancy level within prison systems is around 115% which has led to some unsanitary conditions within prison systems. Other nations are struggling with addressing the issue of overcrowding and separation of prisoners as well, and while the UN cannot enforce these regulations upon nations, suggesting these solutions can help with addressing the problem of radicalization and violent extremism within prison systems.
In addition to maintaining prison systems to create a less extremist environment, it’s necessary to focus on creating rehabilitation programs to help inmates gain higher education and learn the skills needed in the workforce (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication). Learning such skills can help incarcerated people go back to the workforce and can help them reconnect with their families and communities. This can help incarcerated people feel less isolated and may lead them to be more susceptible to radicalized thinkers who are spreading violent extremism within prison systems. Furthermore, encouraging different education systems to be put in place outside of prison systems to educate the general public on the causes of radicalization and violent extremism may be helpful. Also teaching incarcerated people how to recognize other inmates who may be trying to spread radicalization may help prevent the spread of ideas of violent extremism that may come out of radicalization. Ultimately, nations must come together and recognize that reform is needed within prison systems to help deradicalize such institutions and provide a safer place for prisoners.
“Argentina.” Argentina | World Prison Brief, Argentina | World Prison Brief, 1 Jan. 1970, https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/argentina.
“Argentina – United States Department of State.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 16 Dec. 2021, https://www.state.gov/reports/country-reports-on-terrorism-2020/argentina/.
Christiansen, Sara. “Preventing Radicalization in Prisons.” Diva-Portal, Diva-Portal, http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1487470/FULLTEXT01.pdf.
“Security Council – Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) | Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/ctc/.
“Supporting the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners.” United Nations : Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations : Office on Drugs and Crime, https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/justice-and-prison-reform/prison-gloz85-vep.html.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, https://www.unodc.org/pdf/criminal_justice/Handbook_on_VEPs.pdf.