b'BelgiumBlgicaIn addition, because we will give the inmates more autonomy in the new infrastructure, we will train prison officers in social skills much more than we do now. Inmates will decide for themselves when they will leave their cell or when they will enjoy the walking area, and so this will allow our team to be more involved in developing human relationships with the inmates. We are now in the negotiation phase with our Unions because it is a sensitive issue. The Unions are still not convinced of the strength of our prison staff modernisation strategy. The discussions are challenging, but our Minister is very determined to invest more in the soft approach to inmates. The goal is to start with this new concept at the opening of the Brussels prison because then we can combine the positive aspects of new infrastructure with a new way of working. In this way, we are moving towards both the prisons and the prison officers of the future. Eddy Meijs photographyPrison officer at Merksplas prison | Guardia en la prisin de MerksplasJT: It has been six years since the "Action Plan against Radicalisation in Prisons" was launched in Belgium. JT: Han pasado seis aos desde que se puso en marcha en Blgica el Plan What were the results of this Action Plan? What is the current situationde accin contra la radicalizacin en las prisiones. concerning radicalisation and extremism prevention in prisons, andCules fueron los resultados de este plan? Cul es la situacin is this issue still a priority? actual de la prevencin de la radicalizacin y el extremismo en las RV: Our approach to radicalisation has evolved significantly. In 2014-2015,prisiones? Y, este tema sigue siendo prioritario?when the phenomenon started, it was something new for everyone, so weRV: Nuestro enfoque de la radicalizacin ha evolucionado significativamente. looked for new approaches. The first ambition was de-radicalisation; twoEn 2014-2015, cuando comenz el fenmeno, era algo nuevo para years later, it became disengagement; now it is desistance. We concludedtodos, por lo que buscamos nuevos enfoques. La primera ambicin fue that radicalisation is not a monolithic concept, and that this populationla desradicalizacin; dos aos ms tarde, se convirti en desmovilizacin; tends to suffer from psychological problems much more than we initiallyahora es desistimiento. thought, whereas before we believed it was a social deterioration process.Llegamos a la conclusin de que la radicalizacin no es un concepto In a way, we have normalised the approach to radical inmates to the pointmonoltico, y que esta poblacin tiende a sufrir problemas psicolgicos that we work with them in the same way we work with others. Thus, themucho ms de lo que pensbamos inicialmente, mientras que antes creamos number of radicalised or extremist inmates has dropped - in 2015-2016,que era un proceso de deterioro social. we had 300-350 inmates with this profile, and now we have 130-140. AndEn cierto modo, hemos normalizado el acercamiento a los reclusos radicales we have very few problems with these offenders. Furthermore, we do nothasta el punto de que trabajamos con ellos de la misma manera que see a significant recidivism rate in ex-inmates labelled as radicalised. Thetrabajamos con los dems. Por tanto, ha bajado el nmero de internos fear that this kind of offender would be potentially very dangerous for theradicalizados o extremistas: entre 2015 y 2016, tenamos 300-350 reclusos rest of their life is not borne out by reality. In Belgium, we created twocon este perfil, y ahora tenemos 130-140. Y tenemos muy pocos problemas sections to contain the most dangerous radical inmates (according to thecon estos delincuentes. Adems, no vemos una tasa de reincidencia risk of proselytization), but they are now practically empty. We no longersignificativa en los ex-presos etiquetados como radicalizados. El temor have inmates with this profile. de que este tipo de delincuentes sean potencialmente muy peligrosos What is essential now and for the future is exchanging data and informationdurante el resto de su vida no se corresponde con la realidad.about radicalised or high-risk individuals between the Prison Service, theEn Blgica, creamos dos secciones para alojar a los presos radicales ms Police, Intelligence and other security services. We continue to invest a lotpeligrosos (segn el riesgo de proselitismo), pero ahora estn prcticamente of resources in optimising the transfer and exchange of information. Thisvacas. Ya no tenemos reclusos con este perfil.was a significant change in our mindset: we sent a lot more information toLo esencial ahora y para el futuro es el intercambio de datos e informacin external services and received a lot more information too. This providessobre personas radicalizadas o de alto riesgo entre el Servicio Penitenciario, another perspective on how we can collaborate on this issue, not onlyla Polica, Inteligencia y otros servicios de seguridad. regarding Islamic extremism but also political extremism and organisedSeguimos invirtiendo muchos recursos en optimizar la transferencia crime. Therefore, a better flow of information is beneficial for all parties. y el intercambio de informacin. Este fue un cambio significativo ennuestra mentalidad: enviamos mucha ms informacin a servicios externos The new infrastructure will allow inmates to spendy tambin recibimos mucha ms informacin. Esto proporciona otra perspectiva sobre cmo podemos colaborar en este tema, no solo en lo many more hours outside their cell and engaged inque respecta al extremismo islmico, sino tambin al extremismo poltico activities () This will be a historic leap for Belgium.y al crimen organizado. Por lo tanto, un mejor flujo de informacin es beneficioso para todas las JT: The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges to correctionalpartes.services worldwide. Given the restrictions resulting from the pandemic crisis, what kindof measures have been implemented in Belgium?La nueva infraestructura permitir a los reclusos pasar muchas ms horas fuera de su celda y en RV: The first approach was a rigorous and disciplined testing strategy:actividades (). Este ser un salto histrico para we conducted many tests in all prisons, and in doing so, we achieved very low contamination rates until September/October 2020. But fromBlgica. October, with the virus spreading in the community, there was also an increase in cases inside prisons. 4 6 JUSTICE TRENDS //Semester / Semestre 12021'