Virtual event: How to Tackle Extremism in Prisons

1 March @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

What changes need to be made within the prison system to prevent the spread of radicalisation amongst inmates? What challenges may we face in making such changes? Does de-radicalisation in prisons actually work? How can we predict which offenders will go on to perpetrate acts of violence, and what can be done to stop them?

The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to this timely and informative debate, where we will be joined by two experts to discuss the need for meaningful change within the prison system to prevent any further violent attacks against both the public and prison staff.


Incarcerated and Indoctrinated: How to Tackle Extremism in Prisons
: 1 March
TIME: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (GMT)


IAN ACHESON has a vast wealth of experience in prison security and counter-terrorism. In 1994, he joined Her Majesty’s Prison Service as a prison officer, rising rapidly to governor rank. Ian has extensive involvement in operational command of serious prison incidents, hostage negotiation and counter-terrorism policy and practice relating to the threat posed by IRA terrorists and lately the very different challenge posed by Islamist extremists in custody. In 2015, Ian led an independent review of Islamist extremism in prisons and probation in the UK. Ian has advised governments in Europe, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East on countering violent extremism. Ian currently works as a senior adviser to the US-based Counter Extremism Project and writes regularly on the subject of prison radicalisation.

EILISH O’GARA is an experienced counter-terrorism analyst, who has spent the last five years working in UK Counter Terrorism. Working across the country, she undertook analytical training from both the UK Cabinet Office and the FBI. She has extensive counter-terrorism research experience from both the private and public sector, leading on a variety of strategic thematic areas and in priority operations. She is a History graduate from Queen’s University in Belfast, having also studied Social Anthropology and Women’s History at the University of New South Wales, Australia. In addition, she holds an MA in Intelligence and International Security Studies from King’s College London, specialising in counter-radicalisation and British diplomacy studies. Previously, Eilish has worked across a wide range of sectors, including the media, political risk analysis, and freelance writing. Her expertise is in home-grown extremism, Islamist fundamentalism, and lone-actor terrorism. She is a Research Fellow at HJS.

PHIL GURSKI is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting.  He worked as a senior strategic analyst at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) from 2001-2013, specialising in Al Qaeda/Islamic State-inspired violent extremism and radicalisation. Mr. Gurski has presented on Al Qaeda/Islamic State-inspired violent extremism and radicalisation across Canada and around the world.  He is the author of “The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West” (Rowman and Littlefield) and “Western Foreign Fighters: the threat to homeland and international security” (Rowman and Littlefield). Phil is host of the podcast, ‘An Intelligent Look at Terrorism’, where he has discussed radicalisation in prisons.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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