The problem of radicalization has come to characterize the poor neighborhoods of Kansas. Young adults have been the major casualties of this problem with some of them adopting extreme and warped political and religious aspirations and ideals. Most of these young people who embrace radical ideals are males between the ages 19 to 27. The political and religious ideals that these young people embrace are completely different from how most members of the Kansas communities participate in politics and view religious issues. The number of young adults who become radicalized has been on the rise, and this problem is not secluded to a particular group of people. The radicalized youth hail from a diverse range of racial, ethnic, religious and political groups. This paper addresses the methods that the criminal justice agencies in collaboration with the community can use counter the radicalization problem. The local police department, corrections, courts, and the larger community can work coherently to solve the ongoing radicalization of young people.
Radicalization is the precursor to terror acts and the best way to eradicate terror acts is dealing with its source. The criminal justice agencies have a role to play in de-radicalizing young people in the poor neighborhoods of Kansas. This can only be successful when the agencies collaborate with the local communities in this neighborhood because it is within these communities that the young adults reside. Together they can form a formidable team that can achieve a lot in the de-radicalization initiatives. The communities are key participants because they may have information on the people and elements that fuel radicalization. The priority of the criminal justice agencies and the community should be to stop radicalization and ensure that the people who impart radical ideas to young people are reprimanded.
The radicalization problem has become widespread among the young adults that reside in the poor neighborhood of Kansas. Most of these young adults in most times have dropped out of school, have just completed high school or are pursuing some form of college education. Those who are easily lured into embracing radical ideas are mostly from poor or broken families, or they are unemployed.
Youths who come from broken homes lack parental care and a parent figure to look up to. Parents are crucial in role modeling especially for young people and their absence or minimal involvement in their children’s lives means that the young people live their lives on their own terms, and they lead unsupervised lives (Clear et al., 2010).
The poverty they find themselves in also exacerbates the problem also. Poverty makes young adults fail to meet their most important needs, and this may push them into a state of hopelessness. The embracing of radical ideas serves to minimize this hopelessness or violently question the political systems that they perceive are be responsible for their life situations. However, young adults from well to do families that live in this neighborhood also fall prey to radicalization.
The main elements that lure them are majorly warped religious beliefs and substance abuse and intoxication. The radicalization does not happen on its own. There are people who reside in the communities that are proponents of terrorism that aid this radicalization. In addition, radicalization can occur via the internet when young adults get online contact with proponents of radicalization and terrorism. Against this backdrop, it is important that the criminal justice agencies approach the problem of radicalization in this neighborhood with immense sobriety and intelligence.
The common tendency among radicalized youth is to engage in hate speech or propagate fear on social networking sites. They support the use of violence on government establishments in order to send their message across. Moreover, they send threats to people who subscribe to religious ideals that do not agree with. These young adults justify the use of violence, fear, and terror to achieve their misguided religious and political ideologies.
The spreading of fear among segments of the population, the involvement in violence, and the committing of terror acts is nothing short of violent extremism (Pressman, 2009). The young adults who have been radicalized use pseudonyms on social networking sites in order to hide their identities.
The necessity of addressing the problem of radicalization in the Kansas neighborhood is more urgent than ever. The police are at the forefront of addressing this problem and developing solutions to it. Because the problem of radicalization happens within the communities, it is crucial that the police adopt the community policing strategy. The police should collaborate with the local communities so as to better understand the problem of radicalization and come up with homegrown solutions. Increased day-to-day interaction between the police and residents of this neighborhood promotes the gathering of intelligence about the radicalization problem (Clear et al., 2010).
Community policing will be crucial in establishing the extent of the problem. Moreover, factors that fuel radicalization can be better understood if the police occasionally interact with members of communities that live in this neighborhood. Police also need to track down young adults who have been radicalized in order to put them in custody. While in custody, they should gather more information from them especially on people who lure them into extremist thoughts and what pushes them into being members of radical groups.
In addition, the police must monitor how radicalized young adults use social networking sites. Despite these people using pseudonyms to post messages that condone violent extremism, the police should work in collaboration with Internet service providers to establish from where these people post such messages. Information gathering will be crucial in identifying people who radicalize young adults.
Once the police have put in custody the people who promote radicalization and some of the culprits, it is now for the courts to take up the matter and be part of solving the radicalization problem in this neighborhood.
The function of the courts is to establish the involvement in extremism of those brought before it. Radicalization and violent extremism are criminal offenses and can be competently addressed by the courts of law (Pressman, 2009).
The prosecution is supposed to present enough evidence of the involvement of the identified people in radicalization of young adults and the involvement of radicalized youth in extremist acts. The courts use the presented evidence to provide recommendations on what should happen to the suspects.
Essentially, the courts adjudicate disputes without favoring any side after which they determine sanctions that should be applied in cases that have been adjudicated (Clear et al., 2010). If the suspects of radicalization and extremist ideals are found culpable of these crimes, the court would usually sentence them to serve time in jail, prisons or put them community supervision in afford to rehabilitate them.
Jails serve as the correctional centers for criminal offenders. Radicalization and advocating of extremism are serious crimes, and this will require that the correctional centers engage thoroughly in the rehabilitation of the people (Bovenkerk, 2011). Jails serve the function of separating criminal elements from the communities and thus cutting the radicalization networks.
Some corrections that occur in communities include probation, community corrections, and parole. This will be crucial especially for the young adults who had been radicalized and who should be guided in dropping the radical ideals.
Moreover, correctional authority is tasked with monitoring the progress of criminal offenders through the stages of pre-trial, post-conviction, and re-entry of these people back into the community (Clear et al., 2010). While in correctional facilities, correctional officers are tasked with establishing the motivations behind the embracing of radical ideas and the condoning of violent extremism.
After probing the participants on the factors that motivate them into these acts, correctional rehabilitation should be given to them. The underlying thing is that prisoners should not re-enter the communities while still possessing the behaviors that pushed them into this practice.
The correctional systems are very crucial in imparting new ideals to the offenders and helping them discard the behaviors that brought them to prisons and jails.
The problem of radicalization directly affects the communities that live in the Kansas neighborhood. The embracing of radical ideals snatches an important segment of the population from the communities. Young adults are expected to take up leadership roles in their communities and shepherd them to prosperity. If they get distracted from this path, it means the future of the community is being hampered. The community should be instrumental in helping young adults join college to pursue education, and helping them to get jobs that will enable them support themselves. Moreover, young people from broken homes should be integrated into the communities instead of being left on their own devices. The communities should be more proactive in helping its youthful population adopt religious and political views that are in line with the expectations of the communities they hail from. Moreover, the communities should be at the forefront of identifying and reporting those who are hell-bent on radicalizing young people (Pressman, 2009). Such people should not reside in this neighborhood, and they should be handed over to criminal justice agencies like the police. The collaboration between communities and the criminal justice agencies is crucial in addressing the problem of radicalization in the Kansas neighborhood.
Bovenkerk, F. (2011). On leaving criminal organizations. Crime, law and social change, 55(4), 261-276.
Clear, T.R., Hamilton, J.R., Jr., & Cadora, E. (2010). Community justice, 2nd ed., London: Routledge ISBN: 978-0-415-78027-8
Pressman, D. E. (2009). Risk assessment decisions for violent political extremism. Public Safety Canada.