Violent Extremism Workshop

Media Release: Countering Violent Extremism Workshop for Senior Prison Officials

October 25, 2018

Senior Officials of the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service, along with a select group of prisons’ representatives from Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were exposed to a two day workshop on ‘Countering Violent Extremism in Prisons’ at the Prisons Training College, during the period October 23 – 24, 2018.
The Minister of National Security, The Honourable Mr Stuart Young addressed the gathering and declared the workshop officially open. Several prominent religious leaders were also present for this discussion on international, regional, and domestic expertise and experiences. They informed on the development of future actions and implementation strategies to better manage, rehabilitate, and reintegrate terrorism offenders. They also discussed strategic approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism in prisons.
The workshop was facilitated by a leading panel of international experts from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Global Center on Cooperative Security. The Commonwealth Secretariat was represented by Marc Albon (Head of CVE Unit) and Anna Sherburn (Deputy Head of CVE Unit). The Global Center’s representatives were Executive Director Mr. Eelco Kessels, Programs Officer Ms. Franziska Praxl, and Senior Research Fellows, Mr. Christopher Dean (Forensic Psychologist) and Mr. Jack Burger (International Corrections Advisor).
At the opening ceremony, Commissioner of Prisons (Ag) Mr. Dane Clarke affirmed the necessity for this type of training and iterated that “This workshop and its themes could not be more pertinent as we in the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service and the wider society, have recently borne the effects of the extreme actions of lawbreakers within our society. It is my sincere desire that we all recognise the importance of a more comprehensive approach when facing violent extremism. There exists the need to respond, not only with security-based counter-terrorism methods, but also to strategically engage in the use of meaningful preventative measures.”
The group of senior prisons officials now stand enthused and ready to engage in meaningful action to assist the Caribbean region in treating with the issue of violent extremism within the prison setting.

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