Senegal’s prison population has doubled over the past 15 years. This phenomenon is due to an excessive reliance on pre-trial imprisonment, a law criminalizing the possession and sale of cannabis, a shortage of magistrates, and the increase in the country’s population.

Prison facilities are dilapidated, and some prisons suffer from significant overpopulation. The government announced the opening, in 2017, of a 1,500-bed prison, intended to replace Rebeuss, the country’s main prison. Financing will come from a public-private partnership with support from the French state. The project will include creating a National School of Prison Administration (École nationale de l’administration pénitentiaire, ENAP).

In September 2016, a revolt broke out at the Rebeuss prison (in Dakar). The inmates’ hunger strike, which had been ongoing for several days, degenerated into a collective uprising. Regrettably, casualties included one death and ten injured. A few days later, the government banned a rally organized by human rights associations in support of the prisoners.

Country population


Type of government

Semi-presidential republic

Human Development Index