ASTANA -- Kazakhstan has introduced a theologians' service in penitentiaries to prevent inmates' from being radicalized.
The Central Asian nation's state corrections service said on June 13 that the service was introduced to curb the spreading of radical Islamist ideology, extremism, and terrorism among inmates.
The service also said that local authorities and nongovernmental organizations are involved in programs to prevent the radicalization of inmates.
According to the service, more than 500 Kazakh inmates have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes.
Kazakh officials said earlier that individuals convicted of other crimes sometimes get radicalized after coming into contact with inmates convicted of religious extremism.
In neighboring Kyrgyzstan, inmates convicted of religious extremism and terrorism charges serve terms in separate penitentiaries to avoid inmates' becoming radicalized.