What works to counter violent extremism: The evaluation and effectiveness of case managed interventions

Associate Professor Adrian Cherney1

1ARC Future Fellow, School of Social Science, University of Queensland

In recent years there has been the proliferation of programs aimed at preventing radicalisation and disengaging known violent extremists. Some programs have targeted individuals through the use of case management approaches and the development of individual intervention plans (e.g. the Channel program in the UK; the NSW Corrections Proactive Integrated Support Model and state-based division initiatives in Australia implemented by police). There is a broad consensus in the literature that the evaluation of such initiatives has been neglected. However the evaluation of case managed CVE interventions is challenging. They can have small caseloads which makes it difficult to have any comparison or control group. Client participation can vary overtime, with no one intervention plan being alike. This can make it hard to untangle the relative influence of different components of the intervention on indicators of radicalisation and disengagement. This paper will provide results from primary research that has set out to evaluate case managed CVE interventions in Australia and develop evaluation metrics. This research involves the examination of interventions implemented by NSW Corrections and police in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Results from this research will be provided and a number of cases used to illustrate trajectories and turning points related to radicalisation and highlight the role of case managed interventions in facilitating disengagement. Key elements of effective interventions will be highlighted.


Adrian Cherney is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland. He is also an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow. His current work focuses on the evaluation of programs aimed at countering violent extremism and he has undertaken research on the supervision of terrorist offenders in Australian who have been released into the community on parole. His ARC Future Fellowship aims to develop and test metrics and methods to evaluate case-managed interventions and community-based programs targeting individuals who have been convicted for a terrorist offence or have been identified as at risk of radicalising to violent extremism. This includes the assessment of a number of intervention programs in Australia and collecting primary quantitative and qualitative data on program outcomes, including from clients and staff. Other projects have included identifying available data sources and measures for CVE evaluation. His research has also focused on community cooperation in counter-terrorism and police engagement of Muslim communities in counter-terrorism efforts. He has secured grants from the Australian Research Council, the US Air Force, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Queensland Department of Communities, New South Wales Corrective Services and the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department.

Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing

The Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing (ANZSEBP) was formed in April 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. The ANZSEBP is a police practitioner-led Society. The mission of the ANZSEBP is to develop, disseminate and advocate for police to use scientific research (“the evidence”) to guide best practice in all aspects of policing. The ANZSEBP Chairperson serves on the Executive Board of the British Society of Evidence Based Policing, ensuring that the ANZSEBP works cooperatively with an international group of police to advance evidence based policing.

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