Austrian Policy on the Prison Service Action Plan on Prevention of Extremism and De-Radicalisation

The terrorist attacks in Europe from 2004 to 2017 brought the topic "Violent Extremism and Radicalisation" back to the agenda. All European States were called to reinforce their actions to prevent all types of extremism that leads to violence. In the relevant debates prisons are often described as "breeding grounds" for radicalization and violent extremism. This is not surprising as prisons are "places of vulnerability", which offer nearly optimum conditions for the prospering of radical often religiously orientated ideologies. Concerns have been repeatedly raised about the problems of radicalisation in prisons, and preventive measures and de-radicalisation and resocialisation programmes have been initiated. The Austrian Prison Administration has taken a plethora of measures to effectively counter this phenomenon.