Project: Preventing radicalisation through probation and release – PREPARE

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Policy-makers are increasingly interested in the role of prisons and probation services with regards to disengagement, not only because prisons are considered to be breeding grounds for radicalisation, but also because together with the probation services, they can be effective partners in prevention strategies. In particular, probation is a channel through which convicted individuals can benefit from programmes and interventions aimed at strengthening their resilience against extremist influences or supporting them in the process of disengagement from extremist groups or environments.

Whether focused on disengagement, rehabilitation or resettlement, such programmes require multi-agency coordination in order to maximise the chances for radicalised individuals to reintegrate into society and also minimise the risk of re-offending.

Some EU countries, such as Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, have recognised the key role of cities as coordinators of all relevant stakeholders within these multi-agency programmes. This central role played by cities has already been highlighted by the European Forum for Urban Security in its work on the prevention of re-offending*.

* EU-funded FALPREV project led by Efus (2010-2012), with the following partner cities: Brasov (Romania), Göttingen (Germany), Le Havre (France), and Valencia (Spain), as well as the Belfast-based Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and the Turin-based Institute for Research and Training.


PREPARE’s general objective is to contribute to prevent radicalisation through disengagement and rehabilitation programmes in release and probation, notably through multi-agency partnerships that include local authorities.

Specific objectives:

  • to establish the current state of multi-agency disengagement and rehabilitation programmes in release and probation that involve local authorities;
  • to identify the needs in this field in order to draw up tailor made recommendations on the development of multi-agency initiatives in release and probation;
  • to strengthen local authorities’ capacities on multi-agency tertiary prevention of radicalisation in release and probation;
  • to bring together European local authorities willing to address radicalisation through release and probation.


The project will be conducted in 3 stages:

1. Establishing the current picture

An initial research stage will be undertaken by Efus and partner organisations to compile existing relevant examples in Europe of multi-agency partnerships that involve local authorities and work with released inmates or individuals under probation in the field of disengagement and rehabilitation.

This first phase will allow us to identify the different ways in which local authorities are involved in strategies to work with released inmates or individuals under probation throughout Europe, as well as to identify the main challenges and topics to be addressed during the project meetings that will follow.

2. Project meetings

Based on the results of the research and the common thematic areas of interest identified with local authorities and experts, 4 project meetings will be organised throughout the project. These events will include discussion among partners, lectures from external experts and field visits.

This second phase will enable partners, cities and experts to exchange and learn from concrete experiences related to PREPARE’s thematic field. Therefore, throughout the different meetings, partner local authorities will be able to update the rest of the consortium on the development of their local activities (see below), benefit from direct face-to-face inputs from experts and learn from other local experiences through study visits on the ground, organised in partnership with host local authorities.

3. Technical assistance and local activities

In parallel with the project meetings, local authorities will be able to mobilise experts who will assist them in the development of activities in the field of disengagement and rehabilitation in release and probation scenarios. These experts will be part of the consortium or will be identified through the research. Assistance could consist of face-to-face meetings, field visits or online contact. For this, Efus will act as an intermediary between partner organisations or external experts and the recipient local authorities.

This third phase of project will be, as the rest of the activities, a tailored one, meaning that the content of the technical assistance and subsequently developed local activities will be defined according to the specific context of each recipient regarding issues of radicalisation (7 partner local and regional authorities), their specific needs and the activities they already develop to prevent radicalisation or de-radicalise. This will be ensured by regular contact between Efus and partner local authorities in order to guarantee a bespoke needs assessment before mobilising the required expertise and resources.

The project will produce the following deliverables:

  • The reports of the 4 project meetings presenting the main results of the discussions and exchanges.
  • 7 practice sheets describing the local activities designed and implemented by the partner local authorities.
  • 1 guidebook including: the results of the research on European practices, a summary of the local activities undertaken by the partner cities as part of the project, and policy and methodological recommendations for European local and regional authorities, EU Member States and EU institutions.

 The partnership

PREPARE will gather two types of partners: expert organisations and local authorities. Although both groups will contribute to and benefit from PREPARE, their involvement and roles are distinct. Organisations will have the role advisors, while local and regional authorities will be the end users of PREPARE’s activities, both in terms of research and technical assistance.

  • Local authorities: City of Malaga and Generalitat of Catalonia (Spain), Rotterdam and The Hague (Netherlands),  Bagnolet (France) and Vilvoorde (Belgium).
  • Organisations: Violence Prevention Network and Denkzeit (Germany), Fryshuset (Sweden), European Forum for Restorative Justice (Belgium) and Fondation Agir Contre l’Exclusion (France).

The Confederation of European Probation is an associated partner of the project.


1st October 2017 – 31 December 2019



Flag_of_Europe.svgPREPARE is funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020).

 Download the project’s leaflet