On the World Stage
The United States imprisons a greater proportion of its
citizens than any country in the world.
US incarceration rates are about 7 times those of Canada, Australia, the
United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. American incarceration rates are greater than
those in Korea, China, South Africa, Russia, and other states of the Former
US prisons hold one fourth of all the prisoners in the
world. In contrast, the US holds only 5%
of the world’s people.
The CIA practices extraordinary rendition, a global
internment program for suspected terrorists that operates in black sites around
the world. Since 2001, an estimated
3,000 people have been incarcerated in these sites.
In 2002, the US established a detainment facility at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – an area outside official US jurisdiction where suspected
terrorists can be held without trial.
775 people have been detained at some point in GITMO. Most have been released without charge or
returned to their own countries.
Detainees have included minors,
some as young as 13 at the time of their detention. In 2011, President Obama cleared a path to
military trials for detainees. Despite
declining detainee numbers, GITMO remains a source of national and
international concern. Cuba continues to
protest its presence.