Speed Reads

after the riot

Experts worry Jan. 6 inmates could be further radicalized in D.C. jail's 'Patriot Wing'

Inmates in the so-called "Patriot Wing" of the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility, the pre-trial home to "the most hardcore perpetrators" of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, have fostered their own traditions and rituals, including a nightly rendition of The Star Spangled Banner and a handwritten newsletter that's passed "cell to cell," reports Vice News.

Despite their detainment, experts fear the camaraderie among inmates and lack of deradicalization efforts could lead to continued and furthered extremism, perhaps pushing detainees closer to the narrative that caused the riot in the first place. "The notion that they're solidifying a group identity should be cause for concern, especially as they move further through the criminal justice system," writes Vice.

"Having them all together where they can seemingly communicate by newsletter, is likely to foster continued feelings of anti-government mentality among those individuals who are being prosecuted," Jonathan Lewis, a research fellow at George Washington University's extremism program, told Vice. Only about 40 of the approximately 600 individuals arrested on Jan. 6-related charges are being held pre-trial.

"By naming themselves, having a newsletter, establishing this unification thing, they're viewing themselves as patriots and see what they did as necessary to defend the country," said Laura Dugan, a sociology professor at Ohio State University. "Some may have to go even deeper into this layer of denial."

Other deradicalization experts worry prolonged periods of solitary confinement — which has reportedly at times been used to punish Jan. 6 detainees — might "radicalize extremists further, and make them even more entrenched in their sense of grievance," writes Vice.

Consequently, Kurt Braddock, faculty fellow at the Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab, said the justification and normalization of the Capitol riot by "many elements of the right" is "the biggest danger right now." Read more at Vice.