Topic: Radicalization & Violent Extremism in Prisons
Delegate Name: Micaela Story
With a 17% increase in terrorist attacks in the past year bringing the amount of attacks in 2022 to 5,226, violent extremism is at the forefront of crimes across the globe. Attacks of violent extremism occur nearly every week, and claim thousands of lives every year. As more research upon individuals conducting these attacks comes to light, trends have shown that lots of domestic terrorism acts have been committed by individuals who have been incarcerated, bringing attention to the presence of radicalization in prisons.
As a European Union member, France has taken many proactive steps to combat radicalization in prisons. France currently places violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) in dedicated prison wings in an effort to fight against terrorism. The prison system has these wings divided into two categories: one devoted to the assessment and monitoring of radicalized prisoners and another dedicated to monitoring VEPs. All staff are required to undergo three weeks of training specifically outlining the handling of VEPs. While in the VEP wing, prisoners are afforded all the same rights as other prisoners and have probation officers, psychologists, teachers, and social reintegration staff working to improve their lives. France, like many other EU countries, has taken many precautionary measures including gathering intelligence to monitor radicalization and monitoring offenders who are at risk of violent extremism or influencing others. France also has voluntary intervention programs available to prisoners.
France plans to continue its support of EU efforts to reduce radicalization and violent extremism as well as continue to push its current programs domestically. France hopes the UNCCPCJ will continue to protect the rights and treatment of prisoners. France looks forward to working with its allies and countries like Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium that have implemented similar specialized systems for VEPs or have hopes of improving the outlook of radicalization in prisons, as well as both domestic and international terrorism.