The Prison Governor Office (PGO) in conjunction with the offices responsible for
security, rehabilitation, probation and surveillance should prepare a Community
Impact Assessment (CIA) as a tool supporting critical decisions for any pre-planned
activity or in planning the response to any spontaneous or unexpected radicalisation
event that has been identified through the standard prison observation, classified
through the most appropriate evaluation tool (SAM, VERA2 Systems etc.) and
properly reported through the institutional channels.
The impact of an individual or group radicalisation event can impact on both the
immediate and wider community and on minority or vulnerable groups within the
prison or outside. Form of radicalism, associated with wrong decisions taken by the
institutional operators or third parties may also produce critical and major events.
The completion of a CIA would add value and integrity to the decisions for all stakeholders involved to prevent the escalation of tensions. This document should be the result of a multidisciplinary work involving different parties and competences, on a case to case basis, framed within publis-private partnership and Information Sharing Agreements (ISA). To obtain sufficient accurate information so as to successfully manage the decisions and the wider community impact will be necessary to require internal and/ or external consultation and/ or notification
For this reason, a specific office of the prison administration or one of the private partner (local municipality, specialized and vetted NGOs, etc.) should have available and ready all pre-planned contacts of a wide range of influential community-based groups and individuals to assist with the process.
Consequently, the level and degree of consultation and/ or notification will be very much dependant on the nature, sensitivity and risk associated with the operation, with the existence of signed ISA and the justification and rationale for decisions taken will be recorded in the occurrence enquiry log (or corresponding document) and eventually documented to the surveillance judges or to the central departments, when required.
The categorisation of the risks will be:
- ‘Types of Risk – High, Medium or Low’ (for individuals,
groups or communities potentially affected by the decisions taken);
- ‘Predictive Events’ (to allow for an examination of the risk associated with various options, tactics and actions).
Whilst it is appreciated that high/medium/low risk assessments could be somewhat subjective, through consultation/notification and other safeguards written
into the CIA process.
Purpose and Benefits
- First of all, the term ‘community’ identifies all groups potentially involved in a decision taken by the prison administration regarding cases of ‘radicalisation’, like the
other prisoners subdivided in different prison groups (religious, ethnic, etc.) but
potentially including also prisoners and groups in other prisons, where
established contacts/influences with the individual concerned are documented;
Groups include also prison staff (volunteers, prison police, chaplaincy, health
care, etc.) judiciary and the external communities potentially affected by the
decision (families, religious or ethnic local communities, local government,
companies and welfare bodies in case of probation or alternative measures,
with a special attention to local media, etc.).
The main purpose of a CIA is to integrate the indicator-based assessments by
providing a methodology that can measure, prevent and predict potential
community tensions that may be generated by decisions taken by prison
management regarding the treatment of prisoners for alleged radical ideas or
It is important also to bear in mind that the levels will constantly change as local, regional, national and even international events are played out in our communities.
Equally it must also be accepted that the levels of tension experienced by
communities may be very different from those evidenced by prison
- Furthermore, a CIA is one means of assessing a state of tension so that information can be fed into the process for the most appropriate decisions concerning the deployment
- In addition, a CIA is a means of recording action taken (or not taken) and decisions made, together with the rationale. This in turn provides the opportunity to demonstrate
consistency, accountability and transparency;
- Finally, to meet our legal duty to assess the impact of prison activity with regard to
ethnic minority communities, disability and gender and to consider the promotion of good relations between people representing diverse groups, in line with the European Standards and Prison Regulations.
How to Use the Template
1.First of all, framed around the acronym SARA, (Scanning, Analysis, Response, Action) the template contains a set of prompts or questions to take you through the process;
2. Then, the notes to Guide completion are written in italics throughout the document;
3. Third, when planning the policy activity for any event/incident or operation or planning the response to any spontaneous or unexpected event it is important to complete the first 3 sections (SAR). The final section (A) should be completed at the end of the activity to assess if the community has returned to normality;
4. Moreover, templates should be completed electronically and saved. Completed documents, together with relevant intelligence logs must be fed into the standard registration process in unse by the prison administration;
5. Additionally, this form does not need to be completed in isolation, but should draw on the skills and knowledge of any relevant personnel, using a multidispliplinary approach;
6. Finally, at the end of the template, it is possible to find additional information regarding intelligence and the risk assessment.
COMMUNITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
SECTION 1 – SCANNING
SECTION 2 – ANALYSIS
Based upon the information gathered, what is the impact or potential impact of the event / incident / operation on community tensions?
Examples of impact or potential impact are: – public order, crime, an increase in media attention, etc. You should assess the potential impact of the policy activity using the framework below. Indicate your assessment rating in the space provided at the bottom of the table; please provide the rationale for this choice.
RISK ASSESSMENT (tick as appropriate)
SECTION 3 – RESPONSE
COMPLETE THE SECTION BELOW AFTER EVENT / OPERATION / INCIDENT
SECTION 4: ASSESSMENT
What has been the overall impact of the event / incident / operation on community tensions? Assess the impact using the two frameworks below.
The first is to assess how the community is feeling, i.e. based on perception and experience. Using the “Experienced” framework, indicate your assessment rating in the space provided at the bottom of the tables providing the rationale for this choice.
And now, assess the situation based on the evidence available to the prison staff. Using the “Evidenced” framework, indicate your assessment rating in the space provided at the bottom of the table and describe the rationale for this choice.
NB – Remember to submit relevant intelligence for future planning / operations.