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Prisoners: Radicalism

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the level of radicalising influence by Islamist extremists in prisons in England and Wales; and what estimate they have made of the number of prisoners who have been radicalised in the last five years.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

We are currently managing around 650 individuals in prison and probation through a counter terrorism specialist case management process, ranging from convicted terrorists to those we have identified as showing signs of extremist views or vulnerabilities. We have around 50% more terrorist related prisoners in prisons in England and Wales than we did three years ago.

The majority of cases are Islamist extremist (approximately 80%). However, there continues to be a significant rise in Right Wing Terrorism (RWT) cases across the country; the number of Right-Wing offenders in custody rose from 4% of the total Terrorism Act (TACT) / TACT-related cohort in 2015 to 14% in 2019.

We do not produce an estimate of the number of offenders who might have been radicalised, nor do we produce a single assessment of the level of radicalising influence by extremists of any ideology. We take the threat of radicalisation and extremism very seriously and this is a key part of our work to improve safety in our prisons. We deal with the risks that individual prisoners present on a case-by-case basis, working closely with law enforcement partners.

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