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Research and Practitioner Perspectives on the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremists

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2024

This article seeks to prevent radicalization and overcome gaps in the current rehabilitation and reintegration system for incarcerated individuals by offering a full continuum of holistic, evidence-based strategies that will foster the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists into society.


The authors address the US’s increasing number of individuals who have radicalized to crime and violence related to domestic terrorism, which range in involvement from those who get caught up in the moment and are criminal opportunists to those who have meticulously planned and carried out violent acts. They discuss the challenges of rehabilitation and reintegration of radicalized incarcerated people, faced by parole agencies, practitioners, and communities, and note that the underlying causes of those individuals’ radicalization need to be addressed in order to prevent recidivism. The article presents sections on the following topics: disengagement and deradicalization which discuss the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START); the role of probation and parole agencies in rehabilitation and reintegration, highlighting specialist and parole officers and multidisciplinary team approach; specialized services needed, including the use of former extremists who have demonstrated significant efforts to work against extremism as peer support workers; the likelihood of recidivism and appropriate prevention and intervention strategies; and recommendations, including list items such as strengthening interagency communication and partnerships, designing training modules, constructing specialized risk and needs assessments for violent extremists, and more. The article also provides several sidebars, which provide definitions domestic terrorism; educational materials and training resources on violent extremism and terrorism; and example elements of the Extremist Risk Guidance (ERG22+).

Date Published: April 1, 2024