This policy brief provides a comprehensive overview of trends in tertiary prevention in Germany and other European countries as well as recommendations for policy actions. It is based on the findings of the International Forum for Expert Exchange on Countering Islamist Extremism (InFoEx), a joint project of the DGAP and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) from 2018 to 2021. InFoEx brought together practitioners, researchers, and policy makers from more than twelve countries in a unique format to discuss challenges and good practices. The main findings are 1) that European countries are mostly faced with the same or similar issues and 2) that these trends must be addressed jointly, effectively combining practice, research, and policy.
Tertiary prevention of (violent) Islamist extremism includes measures designed to encourage and support (violent) extremists in prison and in liberty in their efforts to leave their milieus, deradicalize, decriminalize, and reintegrate into society. Actors in tertiary prevention thus intervene in a multitude of contexts and work with various stakeholders. The growing understanding of the complexity of radicalization and deradicalization processes as well as practical experiences leave no doubt that multi-agency cooperation and communication is crucial to be able to reach most potential clients. However, one of the main challenges of professionals working in tertiary prevention is to identify potential points of contact, set up effective frameworks for sharing information, and establish long term relationships.