New taskforce to counter extremism in prisons

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced a new specialist taskforce to analyse intelligence compiled by about 100 counter-terrorism experts working across the country to assess the threat posed by radicalisation in prisons.

The taskforce will advise prisons in England and Wales on how to deal with specific threats, as well as instruct and train prison and probation staff on how best to deter offenders from being lured into extremism.

The unit has been jointly created by HM Prisons and Probation Service and the Home Office and has been brought forward as part of the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper. According to a state t form the MoJ, the taskforce will aim to increase training for
prison governors and staff, enable more resources to identify and remove extremist literature in prisons and ensure the most dangerous extremists are continued to be held in specialist units.

Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said: “Extremism is a danger to society and a threat to public safety. It is right we come together to bolster our response to the threats posed by radicalisation behind bars, and give our hard-working staff the skills and knowledge they need to keep our prisons and communities safe.

“This new team will lead this strand of important work to help combat and defeat terrorist threats posed by offenders in the prison estate and in the community. By countering the poisonous and repugnant activities of extremists, we will help ensure the safe running of our prisons and keep the public safe.”

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