Skip to main content

High Risk or Low Risk: Screening for Violent Extremists in DDR Programmes


International PeacekeepingJournal abstract

Programmes of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) are increasingly implemented in contexts of violent extremist conflict. In such settings, DDR practitioners may need to distinguish between ex-combatants who can be safely reintegrated into civilian life, and ex-combatants who are likely to present a danger to the community in terms of violent and/or extremist re-offending. To help practitioners make this assessment, this paper explores how risk assessment tools used by psychologists in criminal justice settings may be adapted to screen for violent extremist offenders in DDR programmes. The findings suggest that the method of structured professional judgment (SPJ) can be used to assess the risk that individual ex-combatants will re-offend upon return to civilian life. By extension, SPJ can also: (1) help practitioners to understand what type of deradicalization and disengagement programming former members of extremist groups may require and (2) contribute to decisions concerning the release of ex-combatants from prisons and transitional DDR centres.

You might also like: