Within the framework of the project Mali (Dis-) Engagement and Re-Integration related to Terrorism (MERIT), a three-day training on the application of the risk assessment tool for Violent Extremist Offenders (VEOs) in Malian prisons, organized by UNICRI and the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT-The Hague), was delivered to prison staff.
The training strengthened the knowledge of the prison staff on the risks associated with radicalization and violent extremism in prison and on the use of the risk assessment tool to assess risks posed by violent extremist offenders (VEOs). It also consolidated their capacities to pass on their knowledge on the use of such tool to relevant colleagues.
The first day of the training focused on the definition of concepts related to violent extremism in prison settings (e.g. factors of radicalization, organizational issues and challenges related to the prevention of violent extremism, management of VEOs, inmates’ rights and the role of prison staff).
The second day focused on tools and approaches to evaluate the risks posed by VEOs in the prison setting, the impact these tools have on the management of this target population, and the use of the risk assessment tool to evaluate the above-mentioned risks. In this regard, practical exercises were conducted to further familiarize the prison personnel with the presented tool and provide them with an opportunity to practise with case studies.
The third day was dedicated to the practical aspects related to train the trainers (e.g. qualities of the trainers, pedagogical approach, transmission of knowledge and practice) with respect to the use of the risk assessment tool. In this regard, the train the trainers guide, developed by UNICRI and ICCT, was shared with the participants of the training and used as a basis for practical exercises. Thanks to the train the trainers approach, the prison personnel should be able to share their experience and skills with their colleagues and thus allow a wider and harmonized use of the tool in the country.