Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Report, Recommendations On Prisoner Radicalization In The US (GW and U. Va)

Think-tanks within George Washington and The University Of Virginia have just published a new report on the radicalization of prisoners in America titled, "Out of the Shadows: Getting Ahead Of Prisoner Radicalization".

Lots of good stuff here. Here are some highlights from the Key Findings:

  • Radicalization is neither unique to Islam nor a recent phenomenon, and remains the exception among prisoners rather than the rule. Right-wing extremist groups are also present in prisons and have an extensive history of terrorist attacks.
  • “Jailhouse Islam”, based upon cut-and-paste versions of the Qur’an, incorporates violent prison culture into religious practice.
  • The inadequate number of Muslim religious services providers increases the risk of radicalization.
  • Radicalization in prisons is a global problem and bears upon the national security of the U.S. In Europe, Latin America and elsewhere the threat has progressed farther than it has in the U.S., giving officials the opportunity to learn from foreign prison radicalization cases so as to confront the problem here in its early stages.
  • At present there is insufficient information about prisoner radicalization to qualify the threat. There is a significant lack of social science research on this issue. No comprehensive records currently exist, for example, on the religious affiliations of inmates when they enter prison.
  • Prison officials are understandably stretched thin by the need to maintain order in overcrowded and under-funded facilities.
  • Religious radicalization within prisons is a complex problem. No one profession alone is equipped to analyze and recommend change.

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