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Imams to visit HMP Frankland in Durham in bid to de-radicalise extremist inmates
MUSLIM clerics are being sent to a high-security prison in the North-East in a bid to de-radicalise extremist inmates, it has been revealed.
HMP Frankland, on the outskirts of Durham City, will be one of several high-security institutions in the UK being visited by a group of about 200 clerics.
One-to-one sessions over several hours will be used to challenge the theological arguments used by the prisoners to justify their extremist views.
The Ibaana programme was drawn up by the Prime Minister’s Extremist Task Force after the death of Drummer Lee Rigby.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The security services do a difficult but important job making sure the most dangerous terrorists end up where they belong – behind bars.
“Once there, we must make sure they cannot poison the minds of others with their warped views.”
There are around 100 prisoners influenced by al Quaida in UK prisons, who have been jailed under the Terrorist Act.
But is feared they are using their time behind bars to recruit others to their cause. The imans will focus on those with the most entrenched radical views.
A report from the Prime Minister’s task force says: “Our prisons house some of the most dangerous terrorists and extremists in society who have rightly been locked up for the crimes they have committed.
“It is not acceptable that some prisoners are able to use their time behind bars to radicalise other prisons.
“We must take the opportunity of having control over this difficult and dangerous set of individuals before they are released to manage them closely, confront robustly their extremist views and disrupt their activity.”
Measures will be taken to limit fanatics’ access to other convicts and a crackdown on correspondence to prevent extremist material being smuggled into prison.
Mr Grayling said: “We remain committed to preventing radicaliserrs from achieving their evil aims.”