The planet's most expensive prison: Guantanamo by the numbers

An American flag flies at Hospital Cay on May 5, 2012 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Department of Defense wants to spend nearly $200 million to upgrade facilities at Guantanamo Bay detention camp where the U.S.  holds suspected terrorists. President Obama has a very different plan for the future of the Gitmo. He wants to shut it down for good. Here’s a look at the numbers behind the planet’s most expensive prison:

166: Number of detainees currently at Gitmo.

$177 million: Total operating budget for 2013.

$1,066,265: Amount U.S. taxpayers will spend on each detainee in 2013.

$33,903: Average cost per inmate at a maximum security Federal prison.

$38.45: Spent each day to feed a Guantanamo detainee. (2011)


Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility-Detainee Food Preperation


$3.16: Spent each day to feed the average Federal inmate (2011)

100: Guantanamo prisoners classified as hunger strikers the Army.

23: Number of hunger strikers who are being force-fed through feeding tubes.

4: Prisoners being force fed are cleared for release.

55: Total number of detainees currently held who have been cleared for release by the Justice Department.

$40 million: Cost of a fiber optic cable from Florida to Cuba that is currently under construction to increase internet speed at the detention camp.

2: Factor by which the cost of an item increases when it has to be shipped from the U.S. to Cuba.

2060: Days that have passed since Barack Obama first promised to close Guantanamo Bay.

90: Senators who voted against Obama’s 2009 proposal to spend $80 million to close Gitmo.

6: Senators who voted in favor of funding the closure of Guantanamo.

About the author

David Weinberg is a general assignment reporter at Marketplace.

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