The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.
Challenges: Though Senegal is a stable democracy, it continues to face governance challenges related to increasing citizen expectations for responsive security and justice, particularly in the face of growing violent extremism in the region. Strong political will and citizen engagement have created a window of opportunity for Senegal to focus on reinforcing good governance, stability, and its role as regional leader.
Goals: The United States is helping Senegal establish effective and legitimate police, justice, and corrections institutions to improve governance and promote long-term stability. INL supports Senegal’s criminal justice sector reforms to improve citizen security and increase transparency and accountability. INL law enforcement programming targets efforts to improve road safety and public order management, two security challenges jointly identified by police and community representatives.
- INL’s police efforts have brought together Senegalese communities and law enforcement to directly discuss shared security challenges and build public trust. Since the establishment of these platforms and activities such as workshops, crimes and persistent issues such as child abuse and violence against women are more frequently reported and addressed.
- In 2017, INL partnered with Senegal to host the first West-African prison professionalization exercise and competition. Inspired by their experiences at an INL-funded annual mock prison riot exercise in West Virginia, Senegal’s Prison Administration took the initiative to host this event in Senegal, which included
scenario-based training, skills competitions, and regional dialogues with delegates from Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, and Senegal. This event catalyzed regional prison reform information sharing, including the creation of a regional network that is used to share best practices in managing prisons.
- The deployment of a Department of Justice Regional Legal Advisor in Senegal has greatly increased visibility into the needs of justice sector reform, particularly alternatives to pre-trial detention. This interaction has led to a variety of activities and a regular dialogue with senior justice officials to explore solutions.
- In the fall of 2019, INL partnered with the Senegalese Gendarmerie to hold a major conference on women in law enforcement. This conference greatly expanded dialog on Senegal’s progress to implement policy objectives to include more women in law enforcement services and gave new visibility to the women leaders serving with distinction in Senegal’s law enforcement ranks.