Bangladesh: Preventing Violent Extremism in Prison Settings

March 28, 2019/Dhaka (Bangladesh): UNODC Regional Office for South Asia is implementing a project aimed at strengthening prison reforms in Bangladesh, partnership with the Bangladesh Prison Directorate. One of the objectives of the project is to enhance the capacity of the prison staff in managing violent extremist prisoners.

In this context, a series of trainings on Preventing Violent Extremism in Prisons and Prison Incident Preparedness and Management were organized in four districts of Bangladesh--Rangpur, Sylhet, Barisal and Cox's Bazar-between 26 February-March 21, 2019. 

In all, 60 officials of Bangladesh Jail, cutting across ranks ranging from Deputy Jailors to Deputy Inspector General, attended the workshops.

"In order to ensure security of the prison, we must place emphasis on threat and risk assessment and develop a contingency plan. It is also vital to develop comprehensive guidelines to operate the prisons intelligence unit. This training has opened our eyes," said Mr. Tipu Sultan, DIG, Dhaka Division following the workshop.

The objective of the trainings was to familiarize the prison staff with the contemporary ideas and methods of preventing violent extremism inside prisons.

It also aimed at enhancing the capacity of prison managers in dealing with emergency situations concerning prisoners.

In this direction, a set of handbooks on preventing violent extremism in prisons and prison incident preparedness and management have been published in English and Bengali languages for the use of prison staff.

"The most important thing I have learnt from this training is that violent extremist prisoners need more attention than other prisoners so that they cannot spread their ideology and commit any violent activity inside the prison. Special intervention programs are needed for their disengagement from violent extremism and their rehabilitation. Their human rights and dignity must be respected at the same time. The training contents are relevant and pragmatic. I will disseminate the knowledge I have learnt here and develop a programme to apply the knowledge of the training,"  Mr. Proshanta Kumar Banik, Senior Jail Super, Barisal said. 

The Inspector General of Bangladesh Prisons, Brigadier General A K M Mustafa Kamal, Pasha graced the closing ceremony in Kuakuta.