Ways Forward: Applying Lessons Learned in the Management of Radicalized Offenders to Canadian Federal Corrections

Research Highlights

Management of radicalized offenders can be optimized through the consideration of six key recommendations.

Why we did this study

Over the last four years, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has been engaged in a program of research which aims to build a more comprehensive understanding of radicalization in the correctional context. As a summary for the Mitigating the Threat research program, this report reviews CSC’s research findings to date and recommends, based on research evidence and identified best practices, organizational opportunities for ways forward in the effective management of radicalized offenders.

What we did

In a review of CSC evidence to date, key findings regarding radicalized offenders are summarized, contextualized in a review of current operational approaches to the management of this offender population, and situated within the larger milieu of Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Next, national and international approaches, guidelines, and research evidence surrounding the effective management of radicalized offender populations are summarized. These include the results of two CSC-led international consultations on best practices in the management of radicalized offenders, as well as summaries of the significant international guiding documents in this area.

Finally, the feasibility of implementing the recommendations for ways forward are discussed in light of contextual, political, and societal factors and challenges.

What we found

Based on knowledge to date and operational priorities for CSC, the following opportunities for ways forward in the effective management of radicalized offenders are proposed:

  1. Provide staff awareness training on radicalization
  2. Pilot assessments and interventions specific to radicalized offender populations
  3. Facilitate reintegration success by strengthening community partner engagement
  4. Intensify and reinforce information sharing mechanisms
  5. Consider the implementation of a strategic management model
  6. Support continued evidence-building as it pertains to radicalization

What it means

As a leader in evidence-based correctional practice, CSC has a rich tradition of conducting research in order to ensure that its policies, programs, and practices are responsive to the individual needs of all offenders. These evidence-based recommendations will support CSC in optimizing its efforts toward the effective management, rehabilitation and reintegration of the radicalized offender population.

For more information

Stys, Y., McEachran, R., & Axford, M. (2016). Ways Forward: Applying Lessons Learned in the Management of Radicalized Offenders to Canadian Federal Corrections (Research Report R-384). Ottawa, Ontario: Correctional Service of Canada.

To obtain a PDF version of the full report, or for other inquiries, please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.

You can also visit the Research Publications section for a full list of reports and one-page summaries.