Prevent Watch

The development of the extremist risk guidelines (ERG22+) for offenders

This paper laid the foundation for the development of the ERG22+ (Extremist Risk Guidelines) that have formed part of Prevent training in the public services up until today (2023).

It was originally published in 2015 in the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management.

Controversially, these “indicators of extremism” were developed by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) to assess risk and needs in convicted extremist offenders in England and Wales, and for the assessment of those offenders for whom there are credible concerns about their potential to commit such offences.

These “indicators” have now become part of the pre-criminal space in which even children have been identified as both “risky” and “at risk” up until 2022.

The study, authored by Monica Lloyd and Christoper Dean, was done under “the need to up with a methodology to provide an empirically-based systematic and transparent approach to the assessment of risk to inform proportionate risk management; increase understanding and confidence amongst front-line staff and decision-makers, and facilitate effective and targeted intervention”.

However, the ERG22+ was not meant for broad application, and the study cites multiple concerns with its use in a broader context, outside of offender management – especially in the sectors of education and mental health (see the related research studies below).

Nonetheless, this paper is useful to understand how how the methodology was developed, the nature of the assessment, its theoretical underpinnings, the challenges faced and how these have been addressed.

The relationship of this methodology, the Extremism Risk Guidelines (ERG 22+) with comparable guidelines, the Violent Extremism Risk Assessment 2 (VERA version 2) and the Multi-Level Guidelines (MLG), is also discussed.

The paper is available in a 2017 version in .pdf format HERE.

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Photo by Ye Jinghan, Unsplash.

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