Regional conference in Tunis on the de-radicalisation of prisoners
Regional conference in Tunis on the de-radicalisation of prisoners

On 2 and 3 July 2018 the IRZ organised a regional conference on the “De-radicalisation of prisoners within the rehabilitation plan” in cooperation with the Tunisian prison authority. The event was carried out within the ongoing project from 2017 to 2019 for the promotion of the justice reform in Tunisia funded by the German Foreign Office.

High-ranking representatives of the prison authorities of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria participated in the event which was opened by the Director General of the Tunisian Prison Authority Illyes Zalleg.

Two German experts supported the IRZ in organising this conference:
  • Kai Abraham is a staff member of the Berlin Senate Administration for Justice, Consumer Protection and Non-Discrimination, which supervises the prisons.
  • Feride Aktaş is a project coordinator at the Violence Prevention Network e.V. responsible for the activities in the fields of prevention of religious and political extremism and de-radicalisation of violent criminals motivated by extremism.

In their introductory lectures the experts of the participating countries explained the legal basis and spoke about their practical experience in dealing with radicalised prisoners. Another topic were the measures being taken in rehabilitation and transition management. In the final thematic block specific support measures for the de-radicalisation of prisoners were explained.

All participants showed great interest as was evident by the lively discussions. There was particular interest in specific examples from Germany of support measures for radicalised prisoners. Another focus of the debate was how to determine the degree of risk of the inmates. Due to existing tendencies towards radicalisation in prisons the participants pointed out the topicality of this issue and that there was great pressure to act.

Special attention was also given to the support of prisoners in preparation of and after their release from prison. It was emphasized that is was necessary to closely monitor and support radicalised former prisoners. Organisations and experts from civil society can be involved in carrying out these support measures. The participation of family members and other key persons is also of major importance. Moreover, the staff need to be trained in dealing with radicalised inmates during their vocational training.

The regional conference enabled an exchange about the forms of participation of civil society organisations in implementing de-radicalisation measures and introduced specific concepts when dealing with radicalised prisoners.

All participants considered the conference as an important exchange of their experience with radicalised prisoners. The IRZ will continue to support the reform projects in the Tunisian prison system with regard to the resocialisation of prisoners and the preparation for their release from prison.