Risk assessment of terrorist and extremist prisoners

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Our understanding of the risk assessment of terrorists and extremists may be in its infancy, but there is no denying that we have still witnessed enormous progress in the last ten years alone. It is very likely we will make even further progress over the next decade. The field has moved from a position where such prisoners were very poorly understood in terms of risk assessment frameworks, and where the default position was to assume that such work was either almost impossible, or else that such prisoners would always be high risk, no matter what. Risk assessment of terrorist prisoners is a work in progress. Though the picture is improving, it is still important to bear in mind the current limitations in our knowledge and competence in working with such prisoners. There remain serious gaps in the evidence base and it is likely to be some time before the current theoretical models can be properly validated by solid research evidence. In the long term, a great deal of further work is needed to identify the most reliable factors for understanding the motivations and vulnerabilities associated with prisoners becoming involved in or disengaging from terrorism. For now, the only certainty is that this will remain a complex but vitally important issue.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrisons, Terrorism and Extremism
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Issues In Management, Radicalisation and Reform
EditorsAndrew Silke
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780203584323
ISBN (Print)9780415810371, 9780415810388
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • risk assessment
  • terrorism
  • violent extremism
  • terrorists
  • prisoners
  • radicalisation
  • deradicalisation
  • disengagement
  • prison

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