British justice minister wants to prevent radicalization in prisons

Image: michael coghlan/cc-by-sa-2.0

Recipe is isolation of the "most dangerous islamists" in special areas and perpetual transfer

British justice minister elisabeth truss wants to replace the human rights act 1998, which was widely used by brexit supporters in the u.K. To incorporate the european convention on human rights into british law, with a new british bill of right. Thus the common sense, the general common sense, is to be valid also in the matter of human rights.

Right-wing politicians saw the european convention on human rights as an obstacle to tighter enforcement against immigrants, criminals and suspected terrorists. The british government plans to abandon the european convention on human rights with brexit and to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the european court of human rights.

Perhaps in this context, truss has now presented plans to prevent british prisons from becoming hotbeds of terrorism. Often, imprisoned extremists are not only further radicalized in prisons, but other inmates are also recruited because conspiratorial groups with corresponding ideological prere are formed, so that society becomes at best safer in the short term through the punishment and locking away of convicted terrorists, and in the long term the danger dialectically increases as a result.

Truss is thus implementing a report commissioned by the justice secretary in 2015 on the radicalization of islamist extremists in british prisons. The report itself is controversial due to alleged "implications for public order and security" secret, only excerpts were published by the ministry of justice. The tenor of the report is that "complex" prison world "portray islamist ideology as a struggle for power and domination" can. Perceived weaknesses have been "gang culture" exploited the "threaten or undermine legitimate authority and security". A rapid and more authoritative response is needed to address the growing problem of "centralized, comprehensive and coordinated strategy" is necessary to monitor and combat the growing problem of islamist terrorism in prisons and juvenile detention centers.

Isolate and deradicalize

In addition to intensified surveillance, the proposal is to no longer distribute detainees among prisons, but rather to "known extremists" in "special facilities" to concentrate or isolate. Stricter monitoring should detect propaganda and recruitment, which should be sanctioned more severely. This is a small group that poses a particular and ongoing threat to national security through "subversive behaviors, beliefs and activities" represent. In the special areas, isolated from the other prisoners, the prisoners are then to be treated with "effective measures" are deradicalized. This is not elaborated further. Does this make one think of brainwashing in the manner of clockwork orange?

However, it is also said that the growing problem is related to the increasing number of prisoners who, after the london attacks, have also been sentenced to prison for glorifying terrorism, participating in the planning of terrorist acts, or justifying without being directly involved in terrorist acts. Because of the high number of convicts, many were not held in maximum-security prisons, but they became as much an extension of the risk of radicalization beyond those imprisoned for terrorist offenses as ordinary criminals who can be recruited in prisons. It is to be expected that the number of prisoners will continue to rise, for example due to returnees from syria, somalia or afghanistan.

Whether isolating and concentrating islamist extremists in areas closed off from the normal penal system is a good idea and does not rather call for further radicalization remains to be seen. Truss doesn’t seem to be sure about that either. To prevent prisoners from "work together and cause problems", she told bbc 4, they are apparently to be transferred repeatedly. Whether the "dangerous" held in solitary confinement or only in special areas by the "normal" fellow prisoners are to be separated, it is not clear from the announcements so far.

british justice minister wants to prevent radicalization in prisons

Minister of justice elisabath truss. Image: uk government/ogl 2

Truss, who wants to defeat islamist terrorism where it is found, intends to follow the proposal in any case and also to establish a corresponding directorate for security, order and counter-terrorism. In a guantanamo-like strategy, extremism "the most dangerous islamist extremists" isolated in special areas of high-security prisons, and task forces to quickly quell "terrorist incidents" are put forward.

Shall be banned "extremist literature", whatever this may mean in the near future, criteria will first be worked out for this. Who "anti-british beliefs or other dangerous views" aubert, are to be excluded from friday prayers. This already seems to go far beyond the fight against islamist terrorism. But truss ames that so far "extremist views" has been met only hesitantly. Therefore, the training for the "extremism prevention" be improved and clerics be more tightly controlled.

The justice minister also wants to crack down on all forms of extremist ideology in general and outside of prisons. A lot of this sounds more like empty phrases than well-considered plans, but the new minister will probably have to demonstrate a willingness to act quickly and set marks, for example: "with targeted interventions, we will empower islamist extremists to disengage, while closely monitoring and managing the risk posed by those who do not want to."

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