Edyta Pazura-Umecka, PPHS, opened the meeting with a warm welcome and an overview of the day's agenda, which was followed by Pedro Liberado (IPS), who provided an overview of the MIRAD project's foundation and approach.
The first panel of the meeting was titled "The ever-changing nature of risk assessment: The need for tailored approaches," and it was moderated by Josep Garcia Coll, FUNDEA. The panel welcomed lively discussions with Nadya Radkovska, Chair of the Council of Europe's Council for Penological Cooperation, who shared the current state of play and findings from the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Prisons Working in RA. She discussed the RAN's perspective on risk assessment, its objectives, some of the most commonly used tools in Europe, and recommendations for future RA-related work.
IPS's Pedro Liberado and Vania Sampaio presented on assessing radicalisation vulnerability, followed by Darina Sarafova, CSD, who discussed the multidimensional approach to risk assessment on radicalisation and Chafiaa Djouadi, MSD, on the topic of gender mainstreaming and risk assessment.
The event welcomed keynote speeches from Cezary Mecwaldowski, Central Training Center of the Prison Service in Kule, Poland, and Vyacheslav Bosakevych, Department for the Execution Criminal Punishments the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, who shared on obstacles, challenges and best practices in Central-Eastern Europe prison service in relation to VETOs rehabilitation and re-adaptation from the Polish and Ukrainian perspective respectively.
The second panel at the event was well-moderated by Natalia Jarmuek-Troczyska, PPHS, who opened the floor to Magdalena El Ghamari, head of the Cultural Security Laboratory Collegium Civitas, Poland, who spoke on the evolution of the RWE movements in Europe over a 5-year period, followed by Ondrej Kolar, Police Academy of Czech Republic in Prague, Czech Republic, who discussed the signs and challenges in monitoring extremism among inmates.
The third and final panel was moderated by Emilie Gossye, IACFP, and featured Vasileios Giannias and Markos Sangoyan, KMOP, discussing the assessment of NGO trustworthiness and capability. Maria Stoyanova, CSD, and Raquel Venâncio, IPS, presented on improving multi-agency cooperation for successful reintegration of radical offenders, with Stanisław Czerczak, of the CODEX Foundation, an NGO in Poland that raises awareness about radicalisation, closing the session.
Following each panel, event attendees were invited to ask questions, which resulted in fruitful discussions. Overall, the event was a success, with partners leaving re-energised about the project's future activities.
The meeting included a study visit to a Poznan detention centre, where consortium members learned about the conditions of the facility as well as the experiences of the detention centre staff. The administration and staff at the detention centre provided reasonable assistance during the visit by answering the visitors' questions and providing them with first-hand in-cell experience. The consortium partners had fruitful discussions with the staff.
Following the prison visit, the project partners met to discuss the project's outcomes, some of the challenges encountered, and the status of pending deliverables and project activities.
The meeting agenda's main topics were on each work package's activities to date:
The progress of activities carried out thus far was lauded. However, some of the challenges raised included recruiting trainees for the training modules and engaging and communicating amongst the partners about the activities being undertaken amongst themselves to the public showcasing the project outcomes via the website news and partners' social channels.
The partners were encouraged to be more proactive and collaborative in the remaining months of the project.
Innovative Prison Systems (IPS) had the chance to present a poster about the MIRAD project at the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, which took place in Málaga, Spain, from the 21st to the 24th of September, 2022.
This year's Conference provided an excellent opportunity to further disseminate the project on a European and international scale, as well as network with fellow academics and practitioners to introduce the initiative's goals and activities. The poster's specific goal was to emphasise the importance of effectively implementing radicalisation, disengagement, and reintegration programs. Special emphasis was placed on the importance of developing appropriate risk assessment tools, training prison, probation, and community staff in the field, and promoting collaboration among relevant agencies.
To this end, MIRAD will develop an evaluation framework for ensuring the trustworthiness and capability of NGOs involved in disengagement and reintegration programmes. Furthermore, the project will extend a previously developed radicalisation risk assessment tool, the Individual Radicalisation Screening (IRS), by creating ideology-specific add-on sheets tailored to right-wing and Islamist extremism. It will also use innovative methods to train staff on how to use the IRS tool and promote collaboration between governmental bodies and credible community organizations working on disengagement and reintegration.
MIRAD, which launched at the beginning of 2022, is now developing its mixed-method training approach, which will provide staff with quality training and learning opportunities on the use of the ideological and gender-specific IRS tool.
The MIRAD project is led by the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) (France), in partnership with IPS_Innovative Prison Systems (Portugal), Polish Platform Homeland Security (PPHS) (Poland), Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (Spain), Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) (Bulgaria), KMOP Social Action and Innovation Centre (Greece), Les Militants des Savoirs (France), and the International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology (IACFP) (Belgium). The project is co-funded by the EU Commission’s Internal Security Fund – Police.
At the 5th Nordic Conference on Violent Extremism, Innovative Prison Systems, a partner of the MIRAD project, had the opportunity to present MIRAD's inter-institutional collaboration models and protocols for effective disengagement and successful reintegration of VETOs. The conference was held in Gothenburg, Sweden, from September 19th to September 21st.
The conference provided an excellent opportunity to share the project's goals, activities, and preliminary results with colleagues in the field and researchers. On the other hand, it emphasised the importance of interagency collaboration and overcoming barriers to information sharing across agencies in order to successfully counter and prevent violent extremism.
MIRAD is developing and promoting cross-sectoral and interinstitutional collaboration models and protocols to increase collaboration in deradicalisation and disengagement programs among governmental and non-governmental organisations. The project has screened and mapped protocols of national and European collaboration strategies from 24 countries to accomplish this. The project consortium will expand on this research by developing transition collaboration protocol baselines, clarifying the participating organisations in this specific field of intervention, and promoting referral mechanisms, as well as holding a policy roundtable toward protocol establishment.
MIRAD will also create a recommendation paper for the implementation of the European Parliament Directive 2016/680 and beyond.
The focus will be on "Working towards more efficient rehabilitation and reintegration of VETOs: The critical role of risk assessment and multi-stakeholder collaboration."
Because the MIRAD project is currently being implemented, the consortium partners are pleased to invite all interested representatives of state authorities, law enforcement agencies, practitioners of penitentiary staff, probation authorities, and judicial and non-governmental organisations to attend the Symposium to make new contacts, exchange experience and best practices, and enlist the support of interested partners for future initiatives.
The following working panels will be featured on the event's agenda:
Keynote speeches from the Symposium:
Polish and English will be the working languages and translation will be provided.
The event venue is Novotel Poznan Centrum, Plac Andersa 1, Poznan. The event schedule is available under this link.
We are pleased to announce the Mid-Term Stakeholder Symposium, which will take place on September 28th in Poznan, Poland. The focus will be on "Working towards more efficient rehabilitation and reintegration of VETOs: The critical role of risk assessment and multi-stakeholder collaboration."
The MIRAD project is in the middle of implementation, therefore the consortium partners are pleased to invite all interested representatives of state authorities, law enforcement agencies and practitioners of penitentiary staff, probation authorities, judicial and non-governmental organizations to join the Symposium in order to make new contacts, exchange experience and best practices, enlist the support of interested partners for the next initiatives.
The following working panels will be featured on the event's agenda:
• The ever-changing nature of risk assessment: The need for tailor-made approaches
• Risk screening before risk assessment: Evolution of right-wing radicalisation in Europe
• A multidisciplinary, multistakeholder and cross-sectoral approach: The role of NGOs and CSOs in rehabilitating VETOs
After each working panel, Symposium participants are invited to an active discussion and debate. Polish and English are the working languages (translation will be provided). The event's schedule will soon be released.
The MIRAD project was invited to speak on a panel at the R4JUST International Conference, which took place on July 18th in Lisbon, Portugal.
The panel centred on cooperation and information sharing throughout the prison exit continuum and included a presentation about MIRAD's efforts centred on "Inter-agency and multi-stakeholder collaboration protocols: From paper to practice." MIRAD's preliminary findings from an ongoing study on the existing protocols and national or European collaboration strategies of 19 countries were shared in the presentation.
The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) acknowledges the importance of multi-agency cooperation but acknowledges that it is less well established in the field of violent extremism than in other violent crimes, emphasizing that there are still several barriers to information-sharing across agencies.
The MIRAD project will design and implement collaboration models and protocols for disengagement and reintegration work with this need for multi-agency cooperation in mind. The project aims to strengthen the implementation of radicalisation risk assessment procedures across all relevant government agencies and institutions, with the help of community organizations. These efforts are aimed at both right-wing and Islamist extremists, as well as foreign terrorist fighters and their families.
MIRAD's Activity 5.2 focuses on "determining the efficiency and productivity of the existing inter-agency collaboration strategies and legislative initiatives concerning fluid transition processes towards the social reintegration of radical offenders".
In this regard, an EU-wide survey for prison and probation administrations, as well as NGOs identified in WP2, was developed.
Relevant stakeholders are invited to complete the survey that can now be accessed here.
The MIRAD project has been featured in the JUSTICE TRENDS magazine's 8th edition!
This edition gives a background of the concern of extremism and radicalisation, and the efforts such as curating mixed-method and cross-sectoral immersive training to ensure the safety of citizens as well as through initiatives such as the MIRAD project.
MIRAD intends to have a long-term impact not only on intellectual and policy debates, but also on the practical application of radicalisation risk assessment tools in prison and probation settings, with the help of CJS-affiliated NGOs. The project aims to improve the proficiency of prison and probation staff and NGOs working closely with prison and probation services in the application and management of specific and tailored radicalisation risk assessment tools based on the ideology in question.
MIRAD is an 18-month project co-funded by Internal Security Fund. MIRAD's main goal is to build upon IRS (Individual Radicalisation Screening) and develop specific, add-on ideological-centred assessment sheets to the IRS, having in consideration two different extremist typologies: right-wing extremism and Islamist extremism. For MIRAD, the role of gender is important as well. The MIRAD project also aims to train practitioners from prison, probation, and non-governmental organisations via e-learning and virtual-reality scenarios. In addition, the project foresees the development of an instrument to assess the trustworthiness and capability of NGOs that work with extremist/radical individuals, which could later be used by prison and probation systems in the EU.
To ensure the continuity of preventive efforts in Europe, it is necessary to identify and map out experts in the field of P/CVE. The experts can represent science and research, practitioners, networks, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders in the field of right-wing and Islamist extremism risk assessment and intervention. As part of the MIRAD project, two Expert Boards will be established: one in the field of Right-wing extremism, and the second one on Islamist extremism. The Expert Board will be a body consisting of 8 experts acting on a volunteer basis, which will be supporting the MIRAD project in assessing whether the developed solutions are practical and can be applied. The Expert Board members will be chosen by MIRAD's consortium Members taking into account experience in the field of radicalisation.
Members of the Expert Board will support the MIRAD project in the evaluation of the developed IRS assessment sheet which will be extended within a specific set of right-wing-centered and Islamic dimensions. The IRS assessment sheet will focus on the characteristics of FTFs/HTFs and gender issues. This task with the support of the Expert Board will provide the opportunity for the development of analyses regarding different dimensions, revealing whether inmates are likely to be experiencing certain stages of the radicalisation process.
To become a board member, please complete this form: https://forms.office.com/r/S32m0XCBHB
During registration, you will be required to enter your first and last name, sector and a short description of your experience.
The Submission deadline is on the 28th March 2022.
 A radicalisation risk assessment instrument was previously developed during the R2PRIS project. The IRS is part of the Radicalisation Risk Assessment in Prisons Toolset (commonly known as RRAP), which was considered a promising practice in this field by the European Commission.