Thursday, 22 March 2018
Media release

Joint Media Release with the Hon David Elliott MP, NSW Minister for Counter Terrorism - Nationwide revamp of corrections program for recognising radicalisation

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton and New South Wales Minister for Counter Terrorism David Elliott have welcomed the rollout to Corrective Services NSW of a revamped national Radicalisation and Extremism Awareness Program (REAP). 

The program will better equip frontline staff to recognise and report indicators of radicalisation to violent extremism in prisons.

Mr Dutton said the REAP, which has been deployed in state and territory correctional facilities since 2014, was a vital program that the Government was committed to keeping current. 

"My Department, in collaboration with commonwealth, state and territory agencies has funded the extensive revamp of the REAP," Mr Dutton said. 

"We recognise that the threat from terrorists does not necessarily end with their incarceration.  Australia's small, but increasing population of convicted terrorists pose significant risks, including potential radicalisation of other inmates.

"The training includes new material about the global and local terrorism threat and for the first time has content specifically for staff working with juveniles and in community corrections."

Mr Elliott attended the first NSW training session for Corrective Services NSW at the Brush Farm Corrective Services Academy in Eastwood, Sydney.

By the end of the full rollout of the revamped program through state and territory trainers, it will have reached around 5,000 frontline corrections and juvenile justice staff nationwide. 

NSW Minister for Counter Terrorism David Elliott said REAP complemented the NSW Government's $47 million investment in combating radicalisation across the prison system, including upgrades at Supermax and creating a new high-security unit for high-risk inmates.

"The highest priority of any government is to keep our community safe from those who would do us harm," Mr Elliott said.

"NSW Corrective Services will greatly benefit from this program, which will equip them with the very latest knowledge and skills to effectively identify, intervene and limit   violent extremism and limit the spread of violent ideology."

REAP began rolling out to Youth Officers in Juvenile Justice NSW earlier this month.

The national REAP rollout demonstrates the commitment of the Federal and NSW Governments to delivering on the recent COAG agreement to ensure that effective programs are available to identify, manage and rehabilitate high-risk offenders within prisons.

The Australian Government has allocated $45 million to support countering violent extremism programs nationwide, including in prisons, since 2014.