New Bill of Rights will block terrorists' freedom to socialise in jail

Crackdown on jailed jihadis’ legal bleating as new Bill of Rights will block terrorists from freedom to socialise behind bars

  • Terrorists in jail will be denied the ‘right to socialise’ under Britain’s new laws
  • Fanatics will be separated in specialist units to thwart the spread of ideology
  • The Ministry of Justice is also investing £6 million in expanding the Prison Service’s close supervision centres where the most violent prisoners are held
  • A report found that terrorists who attacked Britons were often radicalised in jail 

Jailed terrorists will be blocked from claiming a ‘right to socialise’ under Britain’s new Bill of Rights.

Dangerous and influential fanatics will be separated in specialist units to thwart the spread of poisonous ideology – and also face a crackdown on complaints.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: ‘We are going to take a more decisive approach in our prisons, not allowing cultural and religious sensitivities to deter us from nipping in the bud early signs of terrorist risk.’

Stressing that prisons will ‘isolate more of the most radical terrorists’, Mr Raab added: ‘Our Bill of Rights will prevent [them] using the Human Rights Act to claim a “right to socialise” in prison.’

Dangerous and influential fanatics will be separated in specialist units to thwart the spread of poisonous ideology – and also face a crackdown on complaints. Governors will be given greater autonomy for tackling and reducing terrorist behaviour in their prisons while new targets will be set for improving performance

The push to combat extremism – which will see £6million spent on expanding close supervision centres, which house the most violent offenders – comes as a landmark report from the Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation warns that prison should not become a ‘second opportunity’ for aspiring terrorists whose plans are thwarted by their incarceration.

Jonathan Hall QC stressed that a ‘see you in court’ mentality can deter prison staff from putting jihadis into isolation.

It follows a series of high-profile cases, including the 2019 London Bridge attack when Usman Khan, a terrorist prisoner out on licence, stabbed two people to death.

In 2020 Brusthom Ziamani, who was serving a 19-year sentence for plotting to behead a soldier, was convicted of attempted murder for trying to hack an officer to death in the maximum-security Whitemoor jail.

Khairi Saadallah, who was given a whole life sentence last year for murdering three men in a terror attack in a Reading park, had been befriended by a radical preacher while serving an earlier prison term.

In line with Mr Hall’s recommendations, Mr Raab said the process for referring prisoners to the separation centres will be strengthened against legal challenge to ensure they cannot frustrate a move on ‘trivial grounds’.

The Ministry of Justice is also investing £6 million in expanding the Prison Service’s close supervision centres where the most physically violent offenders – including terrorists – are held.

Jailed terrorists will be blocked from claiming a ‘right to socialise’ under Britain’s new Bill of Rights. The Ministry of Justice is also investing £6 million in expanding the Prison Service’s close supervision centres, including giving staff more training on spotting terrorist behaviour

Governors will be given greater autonomy for tackling and reducing terrorist behaviour in their prisons while new targets will be set for improving performance.

Prison staff will be given improved training to enable them to spot signs of terrorist activity in jails while ensuring they are given the most up-to-date information on evolving threats.

In his report, Mr Hall said the current threat in prisons was from Islamist terrorism and that there was ‘no other comparable threat’.

‘Prisons must not be allowed to become a second opportunity for committed terrorists whose attack plans are thwarted in the community,’ he said.

‘More fundamentally, public confidence in the criminal justice system is shaken if terrorism occurs in prison or if people enter prison only to more dangerous: and the ability of prisons to function is gravely degraded if prison officers fear imminent terrorist attack.’

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