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New extremist units within UK jails set to open soon

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Three special isolationist units built within the high security "jihadi jails" in the will be opened this year for extremist prisoners to limit their influence over others housed with them.

The 'jihadi jails' will have their own facilities and be able to hold up to 28 inmates, the UK's Ministry of Justice said.

"Any form of extremism must be defeated wherever it is found, and it is right that we separate those who pose the greatest risk in order to limit their influence over other prisoners," said Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah.

"These centres are a crucial part of our wider strategy to help tackle extremism in prisons and ensure the safety and security of both our prisons and the wider public," he said.

The centres will be run by the existing staff from the high-security prisons where they will be based.

The plans for the isolationist units were first announced by justice secretary Liz Truss last August after accepting a recommendation from an independent review into radicalisation in English and Welsh prisons.

Subversive prisoners will be moved to the separate "jail within a jail" if they are involved in planning terrorism, or are considered to pose a risk to national security either in person or by trying to influence other vulnerable prisoners.

The centre will be physically separate with its own cells, exercise area and visiting facility.

A dedicated specialist staff will be involved in delivering "a variety of interventions" including attempted de-radicalisation programmes.

The ministry of justice has not revealed the potential candidates for the first wave of prisoners to be transferred, but they are expected to include one of the murderers of the soldier Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo, radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary and his accomplice Mizanur Rahman.

A unit at Frankland top security jail in County Durham will take the first extremists within weeks.

Other centres are to be established at Long Lartin near Evesham, Worcestershire, and Full Sutton near York.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 21 2017. 17:28 IST