chapter  5
Discovering politics in prison
BySusan Easton
Pages 30

This chapter considers the role of the prison in raising and increasing political awareness. The Acheson Review argued that some Islamist Extremist prisoners act as 'emirs', exerting a controlling and radicalising influence on the wider Muslim prison population, with aggressive encouragement of conversions to Islam. The Review visited fourteen different establishments in the UK, including public and private prisons, from outside the high security estate, as well as prisons in the Netherlands, France and Spain, where Islamist extremist prisoners are separated from the wider population. The development of policies on prisoner radicalisation and deradicalisation has highlighted the broader issue of the treatment of Muslim prisoners in prisons in England and Wales. A Thematic Review of Muslim prisoners' experiences was conducted by the Prison inspectorate and its findings were published in 2010. Neumann found substantial evidence of prison radicalisation and plots originating in prisons in Europe, as well as in the US, and states such as Afghanistan.