Britain to jail extremists in special prison units

Britain to jail extremists in special prison units
2 min read
22 August, 2016
UK government also plans to remove 'extremist books' from prison libraries and implement stringent vetting procedures.
The announcement of new measures comes days after news of Anjem Choudary's conviction [Getty]

Prisoners who "seek to poison the minds of others" with extreme and radical ideas will be housed in special units within English and Welsh jails, the British government has said.

This move follows the publication of a report that described institutional "complacency" with regards to the "growing problem" of Islamist extremism within correctional facilities.
The review, which was led by former prison governor Ian Acheson, recommended that problem inmates be "incapacitated" by being severed off from the rest of the prison population.

In response to the report, British Justice Secretary Liz Truss said that the UK "cannot continue" to let extremists "to pedal poisonous ideology across the mainstream prison population".

In an interview with the BBC, Truss said that the "most subversive extremists" would be placed in a small number of seperate units. She also acknowledged the fact, however, that this may lead to the most dangerous inmates colluding together.

The justice secretary added that the new measures included plans to provide prison staff with the "training and the authority to deal with extremism".

This is in response to the "institutional timidity" described in Acheson's report, which spoke of staff reluctance to react to inmate radicalisation over fears of racism accusations.

Truss also revealed that books deemed to contain extremist material will also be removed from prison libraries. This follows a recent investigation that found books - including titles by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and executed Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb - were still in prison collections despite warnings.

The report and and announcement of new measures comes days after it was revealed that radical preacher Anjem Choudary was found guilty of supporting the Islamic State group

Fears have been voiced that Choudary, who is due to be sentenced in September, would be able to influence other inmates with his views.