Hirschfield, Alex, Christmann, Kris, Wilcox, Aidan, Rogerson, Michelle and Sharratt, Kathryn (2012) Process Evaluation of Preventing Violent Extremism Programmes for Young People. Research Report. Youth Justice Board.

The original Prevent Strategy, launched by the previous Labour government in 2007, aimed to stop radicalisation, reduce support for terrorism and violent extremism and discourage people from becoming terrorists. The strategy had five central objectives, which were to:
 challenge violent extremist ideology and support mainstream voices
 disrupt those who promote violent extremism and support the institutions where they are active

support individuals who are being targeted and recruited to the cause of violent extremism1

increase the resilience of communities to violent extremism

address the grievances which ideologues are exploiting.
n 2008, under the original Prevent Strategy, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) secured resources from the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) at the Home Office to fund the development of programmes within youth offending teams (YOTs) and the secure estate to prevent at-risk young people2 (primarily young Muslims) from becoming involved in Islamic radicalisation and violent extremism.3 The money was directed towards YOTs located in areas which intelligence suggested were at the highest risk of violent extremism. For the most part, the projects were given responsibility for designing their own interventions within the parameters of the 2007 Prevent objectives and with the OSCT exercising high-level oversight.
The aims of this evaluation, which was commissioned4 by the YJB, were to:
 collate and assess the existing evidence relating to preventing violent extremism (PVE)
 describe and evaluate the implementation of the funded PVE programmes within the youth justice system
1 Later changed to “support individuals who are vulnerable to recruitment or who have already been recruited by violent extremists” (Home Office, 2009).
2 ‘At-risk young people’ were defined by both the YOT age range (from 10 to 18 years old) and by more pragmatic concerns at the individual project level. Therefore, it was not unusual for the project staff to extend their programme provision to older youths where there was a perception of a persistent vulnerability and risk, or to make allowances for natural peer groups.
3 ‘Radicalisation’ can be defined as the move towards active support for violent extremism, and, as such, it is a process of change which is downstream of, and prior to, violent extremism, although importantly it does not necessitate it. Therefore, a radicalised individual may not become involved in any violent action (and indeed could be opposed in principle to such action).
4 The research was commissioned to run from February 2009 to February 2011.

identify emerging good and promising practice by relating the findings of the process evaluation to the evidence identified in the literature review.

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