Radicalization in Prisons: Sharing Best Practices Across the Atlantic

In recent years, the processes of radicalization leading to violent extremism have greatly evolved. The variety of ideologies that provide inspiration for extremist groups is growing, from religiously-inspired to left-wing and right-wing extremism. From a law enforcement perspective, a broader approach is needed, aimed at earlier intervention and prevention, and engaging a wide spectrum of actors from across society. An important part of this larger, complex challenge is the way we deal with radicalization in prisons. Prisons can be the source of inspiration for more radical views to evolve, or they can be the reason for individuals to abandon extremism. This event highlighted best practices from both sides of the Atlantic, and aimed to facilitate a growing EU-US community of practice.


  • Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens - Research Director, Program on Extremism, George Washington University

Panel 1: Preventing and Countering Radicalization in Prisons

  • Finn Grav - Norwegian Prison and Probation Service,  Co-chair of the Prison and Probation working group of the Radicalisation Awareness Network
  • Yola Wanders - Head of Terrorist Wing, Prison of Vught (The Netherlands)
  • Shawna Wilson - Senior Rule of Law Advisor for Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CT), Department of State
  • Emily Dyer - Head of Extremism Policy, Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) Joint Extremism Unit

Panel 2: Probation and Terrorist Offenders

  • Paul Brennan - Probation Administrator for Violent Extremists, US Probation and Pretrial Services Office, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
  • Alexandra Antoniadis - Head of Sector - Counter-terrorism, European Commission, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs  
  • Milena Uhlmann - Researcher on effectiveness of exit work interventions at Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Germany) and Associate Fellow of International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation