The VERA-2R may be used in prejudicial, judicial and post-judicial settings.
The persons suspected of violent extremism or terrorism may be red-flagged, radicalized, suspected, accused, indicted, detained and/or convicted or otherwise fall under terrorism legislation.
A proper violent extremism risk analysis with the VERA-2R, clear risk management, and good follow-up are important within and between settings.
This requires a common risk language and adequate risk communication.
In prejudicial settings the VERA-2R may be used by different professionals.
City security officials may have questions about radicalised individuals they suspect of violent extremist or terrorist activities. Questions are often dealt with in consultation with professionals of the regional police, social services, probation and mental health care, and sometimes professionals of the antiterrorism service. A common risk language is important for multidisciplinary meetings.
Immigration authorities often raise questions about radicalised individuals and the likelihood of them to engage in violent extremist activity. A proper risk analysis, follow-up and risk management of these persons is especially important here.
The secret service collects information and tracks individuals who may be able to commit violent extremist acts. They can use the VERA-2R to prioritize risk individuals and to objectify their common risk language.
In judicial settings, professional use of the VERA-2R is necessary, and sometimes mandatory.
Individuals charged by the public prosecutor for violent extremist or terrorist activities might be investigated pre-trial using the VERA-2R to inform courts, depending on the legal system of the different countries. Pre-trial reports might be requested from the probation service and from forensic psychologists and psychiatrists.
The VERA-2R is also used to inform decision making in pre-trial detention and/or the regime in prison to enable prison differentiation of suspected and convicted terrorists and to enable multidisciplinary consultation with prison officials, forensic psychologists, prosecutors, police and security officers, and probation officers on the risk of violent extremism in prison. Some countries have terrorist wards, other countries disperse suspected or convicted terrorists in their prisons.
The VERA-2R is also used for radicalized prisoners who have not been convicted of violent extremist or terrorist activities. Prevention and risk management of violent extremist activities in and after detention are important here.
The VERA-2R is used for advice on possible early release or parole decisions of convicted violent extremists or terrorists. Advice is given to the court or a parole board depending on the country. Professionals involved are forensic psychologists, psychiatrists and probation officers.
If a professional assesses a high risk in an individual using the VERA-2R, this can lead to non-release of the prisoner, longer detention or long and strict risk management parole conditions. That varies from country to country. VERA-2R follow-up is then necessary.
In postjudicial settings, professional use of the VERA-2R is necessary for risk management.
The transition from detention to society places high demands on coordination, risk management and risk communication between professionals and organisations. Also, hidden digital and other communication with violent extremists or terrorist persons or groups requires attention. Therefore, a proper risk analysis with the VERA-2R, follow-up risk analyses and risk management of these persons is even more important.
Probation officers are involved after detention of convicted persons with parole conditions and risk management of the individual, as are prosecutors, professionals of the regional police, social services, city security officials, security service and antiterrorism professionals, exit facility workers, and possibly mental health care professionals.
During parole, conditional release and probation repeated risk assessments with the VERA-2R are necessary to establish the risk that the persons under supervision will (re)commit violent extremism and terrorist offences (Pressman et al., 2018).
For rehabilitation and other risk management intervention strategies the VERA-2R can provide information about risk scenario’s and risk management. Possible changes can be measured with repeated VERA-2R risk assessments (Pressman et al., 2018).
Multidisciplinary meetings are needed in the postjudical setting for all professionals involved. The challenge is who has what responsibility for the risk assessment and risk management of the person involved, and of course, how the VERA-2R is used. Therefore, professionals should pay close attention to risk communication and also pay attention to the risk of miscommunication.
Moreover, violent extremists and terrorists often deny and camouflage their motives, intentions and acts, withhold information, and despise professionals. A working alliance might therefore be difficult and/or might lead to biased information.