France has announced it will shutter its first and only deradicalization center for Islamic extremists, saying its “experimentation” of the center operating on a purely voluntary basis was unsuccessful.
The Pontourny center has sat empty since February and only saw a total of nine participants, none of whom completed the program, the Minister of the Interior announced in a statement Friday.
“[T]he experiment has not been conclusive,” it said. “The government has thus decided to put an end to the experimentation conducted in Pontourny.”
The Center for Prevention, Integration and Citizenship was one of 12 centers planned across the country. It offered a 10-month program for deradicalization and first opened in September of last year, Newsweek reported.
The ministry said Friday that it would continue to seek alternatives to imprisoning jihadists.
“In particular, the Government will examine the possibility of opening small structures to accommodate individuals under judicial control and develop alternative solutions to incarceration,” it said.
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