US accounts for 25 per cent of worlds jailed population: Barack Obama

PTI
Published Nov 3, 2015, 7:48 pm IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 6:13 am IST
Obama announced new grants to help returning citizens seize a second chance
US President Barack Obama (Photo: AP)
 US President Barack Obama (Photo: AP)

Washington: The US accounts for 25 per cent of the world's inmates who are disproportionately black and Latino, President Barack Obama has said, announcing measures aimed at reforming the criminal justice system in the country.

"There are 2.2 million Americans behind bars. We incarcerate people at a rate that is unequalled around the world. We account for 5 per cent of the worlds population, 25 per cent of its inmates. They are disproportionately black and Latino," Obama said in his remarks in New Jersey on Monday.

 

"More than 600,000 inmates are released each year. Around 70 million Americans have some sort of criminal record - 70 million. That's almost one in five of us. Almost one in three Americans of working age," he said.

Obama announced new grants to help returning citizens seize that second chance through education and job training and housing and legal help and children's services.

"Point number two, I'm taking action to 'ban the box' or the most competitive jobs at federal agencies," he said amidst applause from the audience.

 

"The federal government, I believe, should not use criminal history to screen out applicants before we even look at their qualifications. We can't dismiss people out of hand simply because of a mistake that they made in the past," Obama said.

"I believe Congress should pass legislation that builds on today's announcement. And keep in mind some really good, really successful companies are already doing this. Walmart, Target, Koch Industries, Home Depot - they've already taken action to ban the box on their own. And 19 states have done the same," he said.

 

 

 

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