First local coordination forum on reintegration of violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)

10 June 2021

Location : Bosnia and Herzegovina-Doboj

The first local coordination forum on prevention of radicalisation in prisons, rehabilitation of VEPs and their reintegration back into the BiH society upon the release, took place in Doboj on 10 June 2021. The forum provided for wider discussion between all relevant stakeholders on their responsibility and actions to address this issue and the need to further enhance the cooperation between the relevant local agencies and organisations.

Twenty five participants representing prison facilities in Zenica and Doboj, social welfare centres, centres for mental health, Ministries of Interior, Ministries of justice, the office of the Regional Intelligence and Security Agency and the Regional Office of the Agency for Investigation and Protection took part in the discussion.

All participants agreed that multi-sectoral approach and a comprehensive risk and needs assessment were crucial in disengagement of VEPs from violence and instigation of their social integration upon release from prison. In the opinion of prison management and staff, development of the individual treatment programs are imperative prerequisites for success, while only tailored reintegration plans, with the participation of the relevant local actors in the process, will ensure VEPs successful reintegration back into their communities.

The activity was organised by CSO Atlantic Initiative from Sarajevo in close cooperation with the BiH authorities, under the auspices of the grant agreement signed under the Regional Action „Enhancing penitentiary capacities in addressing radicalisation in prisons in the Western Balkans“, that is part of the joint European Union/Council of Europe programmme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019 – 2022.

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