Bill Seeks to Stem Radicalization in Prisons

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Legislation from a West Tennessee lawmaker would beef up background checks on volunteers entering federal prisons, which the lawmaker says "have become a breeding ground for radicalization."

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Frog Jump) filed the Prevent Terrorism from Entering our Prisons Act in mid-December. The bill would require more thorough screening of prison volunteers by the Federal Bureau of investigation, "to uncover potential ties to domestic and international terrorists."

It would also require the federal Bureau of Prisons to conduct a comprehensive study "on the spread of radicalization in prisons."

“Over the years, our federal prisons have become a breeding ground for radicalization," Fincher said in a statement. "By allowing volunteers to enter the system without first having to undergo a comprehensive background check, some of the most vulnerable members of society have become susceptible to radicalization.

Fincher says there are a "number of cases" in which inmates become radicalized in prison and attempt to harm citizens. His bill, he says, will help "ensure radical ideologies do not infiltrate our prisons."

"We cannot let our own federal facilities become recruitment centers for terrorism," Fincher said. "By strengthening the background check process for federal prison volunteers, we have a better shot at apprehending these individuals before their evil intentions see the light of day.”


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