Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

Date: 01/30/2013 Description: Logo for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the Department of State - State Dept Image


Ambassador Joins Popular Barbadian Band to Promote the No Witness, No Justice Program

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: Members of the band Cover Drive, students, and Dan Suter at the CBSI Youth Conference in Barbados, December 2012. © Photo: Embassy Public Affairs
Members of the band Cover Drive, students, and Dan Suter at the CBSI Youth Conference in Barbados, December 2012.

Due to apathy, fear, or frustration, witnesses often fail to appear for court proceedings in the Caribbean. The lack of witnesses hampers the ability of the judicial sector to efficiently and effectively pursue justice for victims of crime.

Through a unique program under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), INL and the United Kingdom have partnered to support a criminal justice reform project for the seven nations in the Eastern Caribbean.

In September 2012, Dan Suter, the INL-funded Criminal Justice Advisor (CJA), wrote and produced a documentary called “No Witness, No Justice”, which explains the importance of eyewitness testimony and features officials describing measures to protect witnesses. He also created an accompanying curriculum for schools to promote civic responsibility among young people. The key message of the program is that a well-functioning justice system and democratic society require everyone to do their civic duty to report crimes and serve as witnesses at criminal trials.

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The Making of "Speak Out" by Cover Drive and the U.S. Embassy Bridgetown.

The film has received almost 5,000 hits on You Tube and is also being shown on TV channels across the Eastern Caribbean and Belize. INL worked with three prosecutors from the region to introduce the film and the No Witness, No Justice program to students and teachers from 10 CBSI countries at a youth conference in Barbados in December 2012. Since then, students have worked to expand the project to other schools in their respective countries.

Date: 06/28/2013 Description: The Making of ''Speak Out'' by Cover Drive and the U.S. Embassy Bridgetown - State Dept ImageTo further promote the No Witness, No Justice message, U.S. Embassy Barbados teamed up with the internationally acclaimed Barbadian pop band Cover Drive to record a song called “Speak Out.” With its pan-Caribbean, cross-Atlantic appeal to young audiences, Ambassador Palmer’s partnership with Cover Drive promises to spread the message of the importance of judicial witnesses to a broader audience. You can see the behind the scenes “making of” video here. In conjunction with these community-education efforts, INL staff has helped with legislation to allow witness anonymity for vulnerable persons to provide testimony by video link throughout the Eastern Caribbean. These solutions will further strengthen citizens’ trust in their judicial institutions.


Armenian Corrections Training Opens New Doors in Wisconsin

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: Armenians talk with inmates in the Oshkosh Correction Institution about educational opportunities, vocational training and officer teamwork. - State Dept Image Armenians talk with inmates in the Oshkosh Correction Institution about educational opportunities, vocational training and officer teamwork.

Armenian corrections officials, who are currently engaged in a large-scale overhaul of the country’s justice sector as it seeks to decommission Soviet-era prison systems, visited INL partners in Wisconsin in order to incorporate best practices in the correctional and probation fields. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WIDOC) is one of more than 50 U.S. state and local agency partners from around the United States who work with INL to provide training and exchanges with foreign law enforcement and justice officials. This was WIDOC's second international exchange with Armenia as an INL partner.

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: The delegation with WIDOC staff posing at the Wisconsin Governor's Residence. - State Dept Image The delegation with WIDOC staff posing at the Wisconsin Governor’s Residence.
WIDOC was a great match and enthusiastic partner because they had the expertise on methods of classifying and managing inmates based on behavior, risk, and other factors. In addition, WIDOC shared its experience with community alternatives to incarceration, such as probation, parole and electronic monitoring, as a way of reducing prison overcrowding for non-violent offenders and easing inmates back into regular, productive lives.

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: The delegation looks through program workbooks offered to inmates at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution. - State Dept Image The delegation looks through program workbooks offered to inmates at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution.

INL Program Officer, Rachel Holtzman, and U.S. Embassy Yerevan’s INL Director, Ned O'Brien, accompanied the 14 Armenian correction officials during their studies in the Correctional Institution Management course at WIDOC's central office and on their on-site field visits to the Dodge and Oshkosh Correctional Institutions. Before completing their studies, the delegation members created an action plan to take back to Armenia detailing ways to improve their own correctional system.

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: WIDOC Secretary Ed Wall presents Nikolay Arustamyan with a plaque featuring the names of the delegation and WIDOC staff who helped make the training possible. - State Dept Image
WIDOC Secretary Ed Wall presents Nikolay Arustamyan with a plaque featuring the names of the delegation and WIDOC staff who helped make the training possible.

During the May 15th graduation ceremony, members of the Armenian delegation expressed their gratitude for both the tailored instruction with their professional counterparts and the first-hand chance to meet ordinary Americans during their field observations in Wisconsin's capital. Nikolay Arustamyan, the Advisor to the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, said, "I believe these contacts will make their way into the history of the great friendship between our two nations as one of the better chapters. [Above all,] we appreciated your spirit of teamwork... such as security staff, social workers and psychologists working together as a unit ... and the hospitality and openness in sharing practices with us."


International Law Enforcement Academy Program Reaches Out to Youth

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: Students visit ILEA San Salvador and learn about careers in law enforcement from American and Central American law enforcement officials.  - State Dept Image Students visit ILEA San Salvador and learn about careers in law enforcement from American and Central American law enforcement officials.

The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) program has traditionally focused on law enforcement training, creating networks between U.S. and foreign law enforcement agents, and facilitating intra-regional networks of law enforcement agents at five centers around the globe. In an effort to reach the next generation, ILEAs are now inviting local youth to take part in targeted programs that introduce them to the positive role that law enforcement plays in supporting citizen security and the career opportunities it presents.

During a recent Leadership for Women in Law Enforcement course at ILEA Gaborone, Botswana, the U.S. Embassy invited 45 girls and boys aged 14 to 16 for a panel discussion with course participants and instructors. The participants shared stories about their inspirations for becoming law enforcement officers. One panel participant explained that witnessing an incident of domestic violence motivated her to become a police officer, and she became committed to countering domestic abuse in her community. The captivating discussion sparked interest among many of the teenagers who realized that careers in law enforcement can be rewarding. It also created lasting bonds between the girls and the ILEA participants.

ILEA San Salvador has recently opened its doors to local at-risk youth to introduce them to careers in law enforcement and to foster cooperative relationships between youth and law enforcement in the community. Participants are selected in coordination with the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T) Program and interact with ILEA training participants. ILEA has initiated a Young Women’s Program entitled, “Start Making Good Choices Today.” One student said she came away from her ILEA visit knowing that she can succeed in any profession she chooses and with the motivation to work hard to overcome any obstacles she encounters.

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: San Salvador students visit ILEA San Salvador for discussions on leadership.  - State Dept Image San Salvador students visit ILEA San Salvador for discussions on leadership.

ILEA San Salvador has recently opened its doors to local at-risk youth to introduce them to careers in law enforcement and to foster cooperative relationships between youth and law enforcement in the community. Participants are selected in coordination with the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T) Program and interact with ILEA training participants. ILEA has initiated a Young Women’s Program entitled, “Start Making Good Choices Today.” One student said she came away from her ILEA visit knowing that she can succeed in any profession she chooses and with the motivation to work hard to overcome any obstacles he encounters.

These activities are part of an increasing effort to connect ILEAs with the local communities in which they operate. Forging constructive relationships with citizens and neighbors is essential for successful law enforcement activities, and these ILEA events offer an opportunity for local youth to interact with national and international law enforcement officials and learn more about their important work.


Launching Gender Based Violence Training in Mexico

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: Officers receiving instruction. - State Dept Image Officers receiving instruction.

Investigating, prosecuting, and preventing crimes against women and girls are challenges faced by the law enforcement community around the world. INL staff in Mexico recognized a need for the training of law enforcement officers and justice sector officials in handling gender-based violence and associated crimes and responded by developing a GBV training course. This curriculum forms part of INL’s involvement in the Department of State’s Implementation Plan of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, by providing women with the opportunity to effectively participate in the Mexican police and judicial forces. In addition, the program supports the goals under the U.S.-Mexico Memorandum of Understanding for the Promotion of Gender Equality, the Empowerment of Women and Women’s Human Rights.

Led by INL Mexico instructor Yvette Marquez Perkins, the GBV training was first offered in Ciudad Juarez earlier this year. Participants came from different law enforcement entities around the city, including operators from the C-4 center, which is comparable to a U.S. 911 emergency call center. The first class was extremely well-received; participants immediately called their colleagues to recommend the course and registration for the second class doubled.

The 37-hour GBV training provides law enforcement officials information on the meaning of gender, human trafficking, the impact of sexual violence, international best practices dealing with gender issues, community resources, as well as techniques for communicating with survivors and investigations.

The training included interactive modules and practical exercises. Participants agreed that these interactive exercises were the most rewarding parts of the course. As law enforcement officers, they were able to share and re-enact events drawn from their own work experience and to learn from each other’s as well. Following the success of the course in Ciudad Juarez, INL expanded the training to Chihuahua. The classes in Chihuahua also included prosecutors from the State Prosecutor's Crimes against Women Unit and proved to be equally popular.

Participants from both cities gave outstanding evaluations of the class. Many commented how this course has helped them to understand gender biases and to raise their awareness about GBV, and enhanced their skills to deal with this troubling issue. The challenge of dealing with gender-based violence will continue, but bringing training to Mexico’s bravest and finest law enforcement and justice sector men and women will help the country more effectively prevent and prosecute these crimes.


INL's Drug Treatment Programs Prove Effective and Change Lives

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: Visit to INL-supported drug treatment center for women and children in Kabul. - State Dept Image Visit to INL-supported drug treatment center for women and children in Kabul.

INL continues to tackle growing drug addiction rates in Afghanistan as the largest donor of Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) assistance. The DDR program aims to reduce drug use rates by establishing drug treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, and education services in Afghanistan. INL supports more than 60 residential and outpatient drug treatment clinics across the country with a total annual treatment capacity of more than 14,000 persons.

According to a recent third-party evaluation, INL-supported drug treatment clinics have led to a 12 percent decrease in the use of any type of illegal drugs and a 31 percent decrease in the use of opiates among patients. Female patients showed greater reduction, with a 20 percent reduction in the use of any illegal drug, and 45 percent decrease in use of opiates. A remarkable 82 percent of all clients completed the full cycle of treatment. In addition, the results for women are particularly notable given the high degree of trauma and mental health issues faced by this segment of the population following thirty years of war and abuse by the Taliban. The fact that the INL-supported clinics were the first of their kind in Afghanistan – and thatthe country lacked any drug treatment clinics or professional clinicians until recently – makes the results all the more impressive..

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Date: 06/26/2013 Description: INL-supported drug treatment clinic for female adolescents.  - State Dept Image INL-supported drug treatment clinic for female adolescents.

The outcome evaluation also revealed that INL’s drug treatment services have other social benefits, including reducing both crime and suicides. Following treatment in INL-funded facilities, reported serious crimes (including robbery, arson, and violence against others) involving patients decreased by 40 percent and reports of less-serious criminal activity (including forgery, buying/selling stolen property, and theft) decreased by 48 percent. In addition, suicide attempts by female patients decreased by 63 percent. This outcome evaluation data will enable the Afghan government and international donors to provide more targeted and effective drug treatment services in Afghanistan. INL will continue to engage Afghan officials and international partners on increasing treatment capacity and the sustainability of DDR efforts. .

[This is a mobile copy of Newsletter: The INL Beat, June 2013]