Obama’s prisons – a brief snapshot

FRFI 213 February / March 2010

  • One year on from his election, President Barack Obama has failed to deliver on his promise to close the US torture camp at illegally occupied Guantanamo Bay.
  • The US holds approximately 2.5 million people in prisons, with another 5 million subject to parole or probation supervision – in total one out of every 31 adult residents or 3.2% of the population.
  • On 19 January the Supreme Court threw out an earlier ruling setting aside the death penalty ruling against former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on death row since 1981.
  • In Richmond, Virginia, nine Rasta­farian prisoners have been in solitary confinement for ten years, following their refusal to comply with a local rule that all prisoners must keep their hair short.


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