Captivated by fear: an evaluation of terrorism detention policy

Tinka Veldhuis

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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The possible threat of radicalization among prison inmates has received widespread political and public attention in Europe. Several countries, including the Netherlands, seek to prevent prisoner radicalization by detaining violent extremist offenders together in segregated high-security facilities. However, it is unclear whether or not such policies are based on sound rationale. This study aims to conduct an in-depth evaluation of terrorism detention policy, based on extensive research among policy makers, prison staff, and prisoners in the Netherlands. The findings suggest that that there is little evidence that concentrating terrorists is an adequate strategy to combat violent extremism among prisoners. Such policies often seem to be rooted in fear, threat, and time-pressure, rather than in realistic assessments. It is wholly unclear whether the risk of prisoner radicalization actually exists. Also, there is a credible possibility that detaining violent extremists together produces undesired or even counterproductive outcomes.
Translated title of the contributionIn de greep van de angst: een evaluatie van gevangenisbeleid voor terreurverdachten
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Lindenberg, Sigi, Supervisor
  • Gordijn, Ernestine, Supervisor
  • Veenstra, René, Supervisor
Award date26-Mar-2015
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7677-6
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7676-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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