Report Open Access
The aim of this report is to delineate trends of radicalization in Poland by evaluating specific ‘hotspots.’ The main source of data are the court files of twelve subjects, which are supplemented with academic literature, as well as offenders’ perspectives available in the legal documentation and their (social) media. The study provides rich qualitative evidence about how personal characteristics of the offenders, their direct environment, as well as systemic and structural factors that might have contributed to the offence. The proposed micro, meso and macro factors for the specific hotspots in this report are evidenced with court files, examples of subjects’ narratives and supported with findings of well-established criminological research traditions of the past fifty years, while the evidence for facilitating factors is derived from the court files and jurisprudence. The report then situates three purposively sampled participants of the hotspots on the injustice-grievance-alienationpolarization (I-GAP) spectrum.
This study reinforces pre-existing research about what contributes and motivates offenders and adds to the understanding of the relationship between radicalization and crime. The absence of criminal records among the subjects indicate that radicalization is not necessarily connected with criminal lifestyle. It also suggests how in the Polish context the type of radical group might impact upon offending patterns, as well as how the normative beliefs about gender acting might be conductive to crime. Moreover, it demonstrates, consistently with the criminological research, that individuals who belong to extreme groups do not always share common traits or trajectories. It indicates that for some hotspot participants just the experience of being subjected to criminal proceedings or secret service supervision has a deterrent effect, while for others rehabilitation and deradicalization might be necessary. Finally, the absence of agreement among scholars and judges regarding hate speech and appropriate criminal justice responses continues to present difficulties.