The Release and Community Supervision of Radicalised Offenders: Issues and Challenges that Can Influence Reintegration
|The Release and Community Supervision of Radicalised Offenders: Issues and Challenges that Can Influence Reintegration|
Terrorist prisoners, radicalised offenders, reintegration, community corrections, parole, community supervision
This paper explores the challenges that correctional authorities encounter when dealing with the transition of offenders back into the community after the completion of terrorism-related sentences or after demonstrating extremist views or associations. It draws on research conducted in the Australian state of New South Wales that examined mechanisms to support radicalised offenders exiting custody and completing a communitybased order (i.e., parole). Drawing on interviews (N = 55) conducted with correctional and other agency staff and terrorist inmates and parolees, the paper explores six issues: whether the radicalised cohort is unique in relation to supervision needs; engaging families; information sharing; assessing risk; the implications of the broader environment surrounding terrorism; and professional training and knowledge needs. Qualitative data indicate that radicalised offenders can have similar reintegration needs to mainstream offenders and that family assistance, while important, has some drawbacks. The application of intelligence in the supervision context is highlighted, as well as its limitations. Data illustrate the emerging practices and practical limitations of risk assessment. Results show how the broader social and political environment can influence supervision processes, with topics related to staff training canvassed. Broader lessons for policy and practice on the community supervision and reintegration of radicalised offenders are highlighted.