Assessing the Risks and Needs of Violent Extremist Prisoners and Foreign Terrorist Fighters (Andrea Moser, UNODC, 2020)

As countries around the world examine ways to effectively manage individuals convicted of terrorism-related/extremist offences or those suspected of being radicalized in an effort to prevent future terrorist attacks, the demand for specialized risk assessment tools for this population has become increasingly prominent. In recent years, this has also included a specific focus on approaches and strategies to address the unique challenge presented by returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and their families.

The purpose of this paper is to examine key issues and the current state of knowledge with respect to assessing the risks and needs of radicalized and violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) including FTFs. Topics to be discussed include:

    • A brief history of assessment approaches for VEPs
    • Main issues and challenges in the assessment of VEPs
    • Research on risk factors and indicators of violent extremism
    • Special considerations for foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs)
    • An overview of current tools available for the assessment of VEPs (including FTFs)
    • Factors to consider when selecting or designing a risk and needs assessment tool for VEPs
TopicDeradicalization, Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Monitoring and evaluation , Penitentiary Institutions, Law enforcement, Rehabilitation and Re-integration