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On June 26, nearly 100 people were killed and many more were injured after three terrorist attacks overseas unfolded within hours of each other. Targets included Shi’a worshippers at the Imam Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait, tourists at a beach resort in Tunisia and employees at a gas plant in Lyon, France.
While Australia is not isolated from these Islamic State inspired acts of terrorism, we have been fortunate that our police and security agencies have been able to disrupt several plots before they eventuated.
With the arrest rate of young terrorist offenders likely to increase in the near term, Australian courts are faced with the difficult decision of whether to sentence these offenders to potentially long periods of incarceration or to divert them from prison using alternative rehabilitative approaches through community-led de-radicalisation or intervention programs.
This seminar will discuss the relatively new field of community-led intervention and the work of the recently launched Australian Intervention Support Hub (AISH) at RegNet. Community-led interventions, as the so-called softer solutions to terrorism are not popular with Government or the broader Australian community, particularly when it concerns potential risks to our safety and security.
However, the outcomes of such community-led approaches are likely to have greater long-term solutions to reducing terrorism, as well as having greater benefits for offenders, their families and their communities.
The Australian Intervention Support Hub takes community-led intervention as its research and activity focus. The Hub will support government agencies, law enforcement and community groups in developing and implementing evidence-based countering violent extremism intervention programs by providing ongoing training, evaluation and applied research capacity.
A joint partnership with Deakin University, the Hub is co-directed by Dr Clarke Jones and Professor Greg Barton. Clarke and Greg bring established terrorism expertise, knowledge and experience to this new venture, which aims to respond to government and community needs to address radicalisation and violent extremism.
Dr Ros Richardson and Mary Ivec also join the Hub’s team in the shared position of Senior Research Co-ordinator.
In addition to providing an orientation to the Hub and our hopes for the first year, in this seminar we will be seeking audience input and perspectives on how other RegNet work could be transferrable to the area of countering violent extremism.