On the 14th, 15th & 17th of December 2020, the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA) held in Athens a project workshop titled “VR (Virtual Reality) Simulation Prison Search”. The said workshop is part of the European Research Programme “Judicial Strategy against all forms of Violent Extremism (J-SAFE)” funded by the European Justice Programme.
Various training activities have been carried out in the framework of the European research project J-SAFE: these include a new approach to train LEAs in understanding the processes of radicalisation in prisons, forensics operations for prevention and investigation as well as activities related to data surveillance within the prison environments. To this end, and in order to exploit the potential of the risks as well as to train counter-terrorism officers and prison administrative staff, several scenarios have been created within virtual environments. Enhancing thereby their decision making capabilities, situational awareness and emotional resilience during dangerous, threat-to-life scenarios.
The training course in discussion was addressed to prison officers as the judicial strategy to combat violent radicalisation and terror-related crimes or illegal hate speech in prison are at the heart of the J-SAFE project. For that purpose, (7) prison officers of Korydallos Prison System took part in this training activity.
The executives that participated as trainers-experts were officers of the Hellenic Penitentiary Service and KEMEA.
The training activities were delivered using an innovative methodology, called VR Blended Solution. This highly immersive solution allowed its users to simulate and experience the process of searching and investigating in a prison cell firsthand. Thus, the usage of VR equipment allowed the Law and Enforcement officer to look around the environment in a full 360 degrees to search for indicators of possible terrorist activity and radicalisation signs and to learn how to approach digital forensics operations in prison. Another scope of this training was also the evaluation of the benefits of blended Virtual Reality for Security and Justice Trainings.
The training course was held through the multi-player platform provided by the foundation Agenfor International (Italy), partner of J-SAFE’s Consortium.