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Terrorism and Corrections: The Incarcerated Radical (From International Terrorism: The Decade Ahead, P 29-53, 1989, Jane Rae Buckwalter, ed. -- See NCJ-120184)

NCJ Number
R J Kelly; J Maghan
Date Published
25 pages
Incarcerated terrorists or radicals present distinctive problems for prison and jail management, but they also offer opportunities for acquiring information on individual terrorists and terrorist networks.
Although terrorists/radicals are incarcerated for law violations as are other inmates, their perceptions of themselves and the State that has incarcerated them present special problems for prison management. Terrorists and radicals typically perceive themselves as soldiers in a just cause, representing the downtrodden against their oppressors. Many view violence as a proper vehicle for achieving their ends. These perspectives and values carried into prison can undermine order and discipline in the inmate population as the terrorist/radical fuels the discontent of other inmates. The readiness to use violence in an escape attempt or to achieve goals within prison also threatens prison order. Upon reception into an institution, the segregation of the terrorist/radical from the general population may be warranted. This decision should be made on a case-by-case basis, however. Prison staff must permit terrorists/radicals to exercise their constitutional rights while in prison, which permits communicating with their outside network. This can work to the advantage of the government, however, since information on friends, family, and network operations may be obtained through careful observation by staff. 51 references.