Police officers at British prisoners increasingly are becoming concerned over the possibility that young Muslim prisoners might become radicalized by radical extremeist groups. A report, written by the Prison Service’s Diectorate of High Security, describes fear and instability at several British prisoners which is leading to a state in which Muslim gangs might be taking control of jails. It says there is apprehension that tension might result to hostility and the growth of Islamaphobia. Many young Muslim males are being recruited by Muslim gangs and, ironically, the prison system has been transformed into a recruiting center for al-Qaida.
The report stemmed from the deaths of five prisoners in jail over the past 12 months. Muslim prisoner support groups cmplaing that Muslims are suffering harassment from staff which leads them to seek the protection of organized gangs. It was noted the prison “staff appeared reluctant to challenge inappropriate behaviour, in particular among BME(black and ethnic mnority) prisoners for fear of doing the wrong thing. This was leading to a general feeling of a lack of control and shifting the power dynamic towards prisoners. ”
Great Britain is witnessing a growth in the number of Muslim inhabitants which will eventually result in more Muslims in prisons. If prison staff are inadequately trained to interact with people of diverse backgrounds it will eventually result in greater loss of control to gangs.