Conducting Direct Interactions between Victims of Terrorism and Detainees: A Guideline

Discussions about facilitating direct interactions between terrorist victims and detainees are primarily focused on the successful disengagement, rehabilitation, and reintegration (DRR) of terrorist detainees. A secondary goal of such interactions is often to keep the general prison population from becoming radicalized towards violent extremism.

The practical issues and processes that were discussed were divided into three broad categories: (1) how to initiate and sustain interactions, (2) who is best suited to participate in the interactions, and (3) the subject matter of the interactions. These suggestions are elaborated on further below.

This guideline’s scope is limited to terrorist detainees’ DRR. A crucial underlying assumption about any victims involved in direct interactions is that they have moved past their personal traumas. Furthermore, any transformation of terrorist detainees should be viewed as a goal rather than a guarantee. At last, participants emphasized that direct interactions between victims and terrorist detainees should never be thought of as a silver bullet. Instead, these discussions should always be a part of a larger strategic plan.