The goal of the MIRAD “Multi-Ideological Radicalisation Assessment towards Disengagement” Final Conference was to share the results achieved throughout 2 years of intensive work in the project and pave the way for future efforts in the field of radicalisation assessment and prevention.
The event was dedicated to the representatives of Prison Staff, probation officers, NGOs, policymakers and all other parties interested in the project scope.
MIRAD project objectives were accomplished through the cooperation of project consortium partners from 7 countries together with a group of experts from MIRAD’s Advisory Board, KES Consultative Council
and members of Islamic Extremism and Right-Wing Extremism Expert Boards.
The Final Conference took place on 7th December 2023 in Brussels. The event was attended by over
50 participants from 11 countries.
We encourage you also to watch the video summary from the conference. This was an excellent opportunity to ask the project partners about their role in MIRAD.
For more details please check out the full report:
The main aim of MIRAD’s radicalisation risk assessment training scenarios is to depict events in a virtual reality environment to be analysed by technical practitioners, seeking to provide an innovative approach tailored to their needs.
Following the development of these scenarios and their initial finetuning, the final stage was to carry out in-person training events to pilot and test them. A Cross-Sectoral Training Event was organised in Lisbon, Portugal with participants from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Poland, and Spain, followed by its replication in National Cascade Training Events in each country. These events included the testing of the scenarios and the work with IRS tool, after which feedback discussions were held and forms were filled out towards producing guidelines and recommendations for improving the VR scenarios.
Watch the video summary:
The events were attended by police officers, psychologists, NGOs, as well as community mediation services from local councils.
As Justyna Karolak and Cezary Mecwaldowski, the trainers from Poland say:
The curiosity and commitment of the participants allowed us to implement all prepared workshops in every detail from beginning to the end. We managed to present the issue of radicalisation from the point of view developed in the MIRAD project. We consider the development of this common ground a success.
We were able to provide cross-cutting training and encourage multi-agency collaboration between different organisations. With this variety of participants, we were able to present the project and its products in a more holistic way covering prevention, intervention and rehabilitation.
We invite you to check our e-zines, to learn more about the MIRAD project. The first e-Zine has just been published.
E-Zine #1 summarizes how MIRAD has utilised experts to guide the project and inform its work products. By including a wide range of experts representing the scientific community, prison and probation leaders and practitioners, and NGOs and CSOs, the project has been able to incorporate both expertise and perspectives beyond that of the project partners.
You will find the rest of the MIRAD’s e-Zines here: link.
From 17th to 19th October 2023, the MIRAD project’s Cross-Sectoral Training Event was held in Lisbon, where some of the project’s key products, the Individual Radicalisation Screening (IRS) tool and the virtual reality (VR) risk assessment scenarios were explored and put into test by frontline practitioners. This deep dive into the practical application of these tools triggered productive discussions aimed at feeding the fine-tuning process of these products.
During this 3-day training event, 20 practitioners from the prison, probation, and community settings from 5 different countries were present (Bulgaria, France, Greece, Poland, Spain).
The first day of the event set the stage with a comprehensive overview of the MIRAD project, presented by Pedro Liberado (IPS_Innovative Prison Systems) from its inception, the overarching vision to its accomplishments up to the present day, to an intricate examination of the IRS Tool within the project’s framework. The agenda then shifted towards Nico Brasppening’s (Belgian Federal Public Service of Justice & MIRAD’s Risk Assessment Expert) presentations, which enriched the discourse by introducing case studies and providing insights drawn from its expertise vision, experience, while supporting it with the latest research in the field.
The second day was then devoted to a detailed exploration of the IRS and its adaptation to Islamist Extremism and Right-Wing Extremism. Josep García Coll (Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies) and Maryian Sabev (Center for the Study of Democracy) played a pivotal role in guiding participants through the tool’s design, structure, and practical application, including a collaborative hands-on experience in the use and implementation of the tool by participants, who co-jointly analysed two case studies, culminating in an in-depth feedback session.
On the final day, the spotlight turned towards three VR scenarios designed to simulate risk assessment situations. Participants were engaged with this methodology with the guidance of André Barbosa (Inklusion). Through these simulated scenarios, participants were granted a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the practicalities of risk assessment, while also putting the tool’s usability to the test through the assessment of these three case studies.
Thus, the final day began with a brief presentation by IPS, framing the virtual reality scenarios in the context of the event, and of the project. It was then given the floor to André, who interactively demonstrated how to use the VR headset that the participants would then experience, in order to later fill in the IRS Scoring Sheet. To round off the day, a final feedback session was held, in which the participants were able to provide further feedback on the use of the IRS Tool, as well as on the quality, usability and applicability of the virtual reality scenarios.
The event concluded with a debriefing session, underscoring the event’s undeniable success and the enthusiasm of participants for the advancements achieved through the MIRAD project. As such, this Cross-Sectoral Training Event marked a significant stride towards enhancing the IRS tool and the VR Scenarios, thereby presenting fresh and innovative avenues towards more accurate, reliable, and precise tools for accurate radicalisation risk assessment training.
 The MIRAD Project intends to update the Individualisation Radicalisation Screening Tool (IRS Tool), which was developed within the R2PRIS Project, to encompass different gender and ideologies – Right-Wing Extremism and Islamist Extremism. To learn more about the IRS Tool, check out the R2PRIS Project
At the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, IPS_Innovative Prison Systems, the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies, partners of the MIRAD project, had the opportunity to present MIRAD’s approach to enhance the efficiency of radicalisation disengagement and reintegration programmes. The event was held in Florence, Italy, from the 6th to the 9th of September 2023.
The conference provided an excellent opportunity to share the project’s goals and activities, particularly the adaptation of the Individual Radicalisation Screening (IRS) tool, the preliminary results from the training provided to prison, probation and community staff, as well as the design and promote the adoption cross-sectoral and interinstitutional collaboration models and protocols. The project – which is reaching its end – is currently focused on the piloting and finetuning of evidence-based radicalisation assessment VR-based training scenarios, as well as on disseminating the MIRAD outcomes and products.
Prison and probation experts, as well as policymakers from multiple European countries recently met in Brussels to discuss challenges and needs in the domain during the MIRAD’s International Policy Roundtable.
Throughout the past weeks, the MIRAD consortium partners from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Poland, and Spain conducted national roundtable discussions for professionals. During these meetings, practitioners have been sensitised regarding the importance of integrated, transversal approaches when activating individual disengagement programmes from violent extremism, but also they shared thoughts about the state of the judicial system in their countries. The needs and recommendations for the European Union’s field of disengagement and reintegration of violent extremists into society were collected, such as:
The shared reflections and conclusions resulting from the National Policy Roundtables were then used as a basis for the discussions on the European level. This helped not only to summarise the discussions but also to see the bigger picture of the state of the European judicial system. The International Policy Roundtable took place in Brussels, which allowed inviting also practitioners from Belgium.
The meeting began with the introduction of the MIRAD project and continued with a presentation about Protocol screening and mapping of European-wide collaboration strategies, conducted by Pedro Liberado, chief research officer at Innovative Prison Systems (IPS). Practitioners’ perspectives on inter-institutional and multiagency cooperation were also discussed, along with the results of National Policy Roundtables.
The afternoon session was dedicated to the introduction of Directive 2016/680, also known as Data Protection Law Enforcement Directive (LED). Then participants discussed the details of the Recommendation Paper towards the implementation of this document.
The MIRAD Consortium is delighted to announce the Final Conference which will be a great occasion to present the main achievements of this 2-year project and its recommendations for future work in the field of disengagement and reintegration.
MIRAD – Multi-Ideological Radicalisation Assessment towards Disengagement aims to enhance collaboration between government bodies and community organizations in disengagement and reintegration programs. It focuses on developing ideology-specific risk assessment tools, considering gender dimensions. Building upon the successful IRS tool from the R2PRIS project, MIRAD expands it to include add-on assessment sheets for right-wing and Islamist extremism. The project also offers e-Learning and virtual-reality training for practitioners and develops an instrument to assess NGOs working with extremists.
Join us as we showcase the remarkable achievements of the MIRAD Team over the past 2 years. This conference will unveil the main results and objectives of the project, including:
We encourage all representatives and stakeholders working in the field of disengagement and reintegration from prison, probation sectors, and non-governmental organisations working closely with these sectors, but also policymakers, research organisations, related EU/national projects, networks of prison and probation practitioners to join and participate in the event to learn about MIRAD’s achievements and the possibilities of their use in the field.
The preliminary agenda and registration link will be provided in due time.
At the 3rd International Correctional Research Symposium, IPS_Innovative Prison Systems, a partner of the MIRAD project, shared with practitioners and academics the preliminary results of the screening and mapping of national and European collaboration strategies and multi-agency and interinstitutional needs assessment.
The conference organised in cooperation between the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), the European Organisation for Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris) and the Portuguese General Directorate of Reintegration and Prisons was held in Porto, Portugal, from March 27th to March 30th, 2023.
The intervention emphasised that there is a lack of established and standardised cooperation protocols between key actors and organisations, and those that exist are marked by a lack of practical implementation. Other conclusions were that various obstacles to multi-agency cooperation continue to be mentioned by practitioners, and the involvement of actors beyond the criminal justice system is crucial but underdeveloped.
To tackle these obstacles, MIRAD will design baselines of transition collaboration protocol – which will be finetuned following national and international policy roundtables towards protocol establishment – and create a recommendation paper towards respecting the (implementation of) (EU) Directive 2016/680 and beyond. Stay tuned for the upcoming developments, as our recommendation paper will be published over the next months.
On 6th June 2023, the Consortium of the MIRAD project met in Sofia, Bulgaria, for the 5th TCM. Current work and plans for the near future of the initiative were discussed.
The meeting in Sofia was the first opportunity since the TCM in Poznań, Poland, to debate face-to-face the progress of the project. And it was a very fruitful meeting.
While MIRAD is slowly moving towards the end of the project, more and more activities and deliverables are being finalised. Each of those needs to be reviewed and discussed within the Consortium, and the physical meeting is the best occasion to do so.
Some of the main topics were related to our online courses (‘Integrated Approach to Radicalisation for Prison, Probation and Community’ and ‘Train the Trainer’) and National Policy Roundtables. We also had a chance to talk about the coming International Round Table in Brussels, training in Lisbon, and the Final Conference in Brussels at the end of this year, about which we will inform you shortly.
The meeting was organised by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at its offices in Sofia, Bulgaria. CSD is a leader of Work Package 5, which aims to develop interinstitutional collaboration models and protocols towards effective disengagement and successful social reintegration.
The meeting was attended by participants from 8 countries, partly online.
The MIRAD e-Learning Train the Trainer course is divided into five modules and twelve chapters and was delivered entirely in English to practitioners from the prison, probation and community sectors in Bulgaria, France, Greece, Poland and Spain through the Corrections Learning Academy.
As a result of the Consortium’s successful efforts, the training course was established, disseminated, and implemented to almost twice the number of professionals envisaged at the beginning of the project. The long-term, relevant, and high-quality training was received by approximately 100 trainees, almost doubling the expected target number. Almost half of the trainees reached by the training were prison staff, followed by NGO personnel and probation practitioners. The e-Learning course was available for completion for three months, from December 19th 2022 to March 21st 2023.
Based on feedback and assessment, the MIRAD Train the Trainer course was well received by trainees. It was important to determine whether the programme met the expectations and needs of the participants. As a result, various types of assessments were used, such as pre-test versus post-test, exercises and surveys regarding the module, course and platform. The results demonstrate that the training was successful in effectively improving trainees’ knowledge within the scope and timeline of the project. This training programme was entirely delivered via e-Learning, which is a good starting point in preparing professionals to be able to deliver the training to their staff.
The majority of participants claimed that the course met their learning needs and found the content of the training to be enjoyable, with the lowest positive score set at 90% and the highest at 94%. The content was assessed as relevant to their professional practice. See more details below:
The European Strategy for Judicial Training 2021–2024 states that training in the prevention of radicalisation is a priority for prison and probation staff and is in high demand, but such has not been effectively translated into practice due to financial and logistical obstacles. Thus, the MIRAD project aims to provide practitioners with knowledge and tools to cascade the training to colleagues within their organisation. We can proudly say that the project aided in this achievement through the finalised activity.