This CREST guide explores deradicalisation programmes, setting out the types of interventions in operation, the methods they use, and how to evaluate their effects.

Deradicalisation programmes seek to address the ideological, social, and personal issues that led someone to become involved in violent extremism.

Key points

Deradicalisation programmes aim to prevent ongoing engagement in violent extremism and are an expanding feature of counterterrorism work.

Interventions use a range of methods including mentoring, engagement with ideological or theological issues, help into employment and education, and social and psychological support.

Programmes which offer a comprehensive range of activities tailored to the individual are better able to address the complex and diverse needs of those involved in violent extremism.

Partnership working between third sector organisations and statutory bodies is increasingly common and enables a more holistic approach.

There are very few publicly available evaluations of deradicalisation interventions which makes determining what works difficult.

Effective programme design and evaluation is supported by developing a ‘theory of change’ which explains how a programme’s methods relate to its aims and outcomes.

More work is needed to define the aims of deradicalisation programmes and identify specific measures by which progress might be assessed.