Annual test for detained terrorists

In future, detainees residing at a Terrorist Ward (TA) will be tested each year to establish whether they have become sufficiently deradicalised. In very exceptional cases and subject to strict conditions, such detainees will then qualify for placement at a 'normal' ward. The test will be conducted by, inter alia, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, the Detainee Criminal Investigation Information Centre, the Public Prosecution Service and the Custodial Institutions Agency. An assessment will also be made, on an individual detainee basis, regarding the way in which a gradual return to society can be shaped. This was written today by State Secretary Teeven in a letter to the Lower House in response to an investigation performed on behalf of the Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Security and Justice.

Said investigation shows, inter alia, that the TA can make a positive contribution to the prevention of radicalisation and recruitment outside of prisons. At the same time, the TA's high level of security offers little room for resocialisation. The measures announced by Teeven will prevent detainees from staying longer at the TA than strictly necessary, and will increase the effectiveness of the ward.

A Terrorist Ward houses those accused or convicted of a terrorist crime, or detainees who, before or during detention, have announced or spread terrorist messages. The first TA was introduced in 2006 in the prison at Vught to counter recruitment and radicalisation within the prison walls. A second ward was created at 'De Schie' in Rotterdam in 2007. A total of 30 detainees were housed at one of these wards between 2006 and 2010. TA Vught will be closed due a lack of capacity utilisation. This means that De Schie will be the only remaining prison with a terrorist ward.