The history of prisons in the twentieth century entails repeated stories of those institutions becoming recruiting grounds for furthering crime and violence. It is not surprising as more Muslims enter British jails that terrorist groups use their prison power to recruit other inmates to become part of terrorist movements. Chief Inspector Anne Owens,, recently said: “There was a perception among officers that some Muslim prisoners operated as a gang and put pressure on non-Muslim prisoners to convert, and on other Muslim prisoners to conform to a strict and extreme interpretation of Islamic practice.” She noted there was reluctance on the part of prison officials to interfere in such behaviors.
There is nothing surprising in this development. Anyone who has studied American prisons is aware that gangs recruit new members in jail or use jail time as a “college of crime” in which to teach others how to become better criminals. The Muslim gangs in Great Britain are simply following in the wake of Hispanic or Aryan Brotherhood or Black gangs in jails. The issue is bullying and how to deal with such actions. The solution is to create new forms of prisons which do not allow the emergence of such power groups.