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Fact sheet: Desistance and Disengagement Programme

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As set out in CONTEST 2018, the Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) focuses on rehabilitating individuals who have been involved in terrorism or terrorism-related activity and reducing the risk they pose to the UK.

The programme works by providing tailored interventions which support individuals to stop participating in terrorism-related activity (desist) and to move away from terrorist ideology and ways of thinking (disengage). The programme aims to address the root causes of terrorism, build resilience, and contribute towards the deradicalisation of individuals. 


  • The DDP launched in October 2016, with an initial pilot providing support to individuals on probation licence following conviction for a Terrorism Act (TACT) or TACT-related offence.
  • The programme expanded shortly thereafter to include those on Terrorism Prevention Investigation Measures (TPIMs) and those who have returned from conflict zones and are subject to Temporary Exclusion Orders (TEOs).
  • In December 2018, a prison strand was established for individuals convicted of TACT- or TACT-related offences, or identified as exhibiting extremist behaviour by prison staff. 

Key information

  • The programme provides a range of intensive, tailored interventions and practical support designed to tackle the drivers of radicalisation.
  • Support could include mentoring, psychological support, theological and ideological advice. These interventions are designed to put in place protective factors and provide the best possible means for these individuals to disengage from terrorism and reintegrate safely back into society.
  • The programme works with a number of suppliers which provide a wide variety of support and skills to work with a challenging cohort.
  • The programme runs alongside existing statutory risk assessment and management processes such as Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), to ensure it bolsters existing provisions.
  • Terrorism cases are reviewed regularly with other key stakeholders to determine how best to continue managing the risk an individual presents, as well as supporting their rehabilitation.
  • Unlike the majority of programmes that make up part of the Prevent strategy, the DDP is mandatory in certain cases.
  • Where mandated for individuals subject to TEOs, TPIMs or probation requirements, non-compliance could lead to the possibility of being charged for breach of conditions or being recalled to prison.
  • The programme reflects increasing collaboration across different elements of the counter-terrorism system, notably Prevent and Pursue.

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