A Legal Cultural Model as a Theoretical Basis of Reintegration Strategies for ISIS Ex militants
The article analyses whether the prison system in Estonia when incarcerating former terrorists will be able to fulfil the objectives behind its execution of imprisonment. The main concern was that potential for resocialising an individual who does not feel or even want to be a member of the society in which he is incarcerated may not exist unless the integration process accounts for not only the aspects of (legal) culture that are familiar and known in the society where the person is incarcerated but also those that are essential for the prisoner’s sense of belonging. To understand what helps to reintegrate former terrorists and draw them back from violent extremism, one must grasp which aspects of (legal) culture might have influenced their radical ideology. To address this, the author uses the specific legal-cultural model provided by Professor Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde for ascertaining those bearings.
The conclusion is that integrating a prisoner who holds a radical ideology rooted in the major world religion Islam into Estonian society involves an integration interlace between two different cultures and, furthermore, that the ultimate success of the reintegration programmes largely depends on the ‘after-care’ measures. Hence, even if there is a possibility of providing adequate teacher training and the experts agree that the person is highly reintegrated when leaving prison, the question remains of whether Estonia has the financial resources to ensure all the measures required for the former terrorist to lead a law-abiding life outside prison.