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Countering radicalisation in prisons in the Western Balkans

On 17-18 May 2022, in Budva, Montenegro, a conference entitled "Towards Better Practices in Preventing Radicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism in Prisons and Staff Training in the Western Balkans" was held. It was attended by more than 50 participants from the region, including practitioners from the services.

The above event was implemented within the framework of "Strengthening penitentiary capacity to counter radicalisation in prisons in the Western Balkans", which is part of the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey for 2019-2022.

The two-day event focused on the themes of improving regional security by countering radicalisation in prisons and combating violent extremists, as well as supporting practitioners in recognising signs of radicalisation and equipping frontline officers with the necessary knowledge and tools.

It also highlighted the progress made in the penitentiary systems in all six Western Balkan countries in the context of applying the recommendations in practice and discussed the upcoming challenges, inter alia, in the context of repatriating foreign terrorist fighters and their families and providing continuous and sustained training for practitioners.

The conference in Montenegro confirmed the purposefulness of the activities undertaken by TPCoE. Thanks to the agreement on scientific and didactic cooperation between the Internal Security Agency and the Prison Service in the field of counteracting radicalisation and terrorist threats in prisons, as well as the expert knowledge acquired by TPCoE officers from more experienced services professionally involved in counteracting the propagation of extremist ideologies in penitentiary centres in Western Europe, the Centre is successfully carrying out its mission in Poland.

TPCoE places a strong emphasis on developing joint concepts with the Prison Service, contributing to the sealing of the current systems and the development of new ones, in particular in the field of responding to the process of radicalisation among prisoners, also on developing a profiled training programme, organising workshops and e-learning training dedicated to Prison Service officers.

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