Robert Saleem Holbrook

Robert Saleem Holbrook was sentenced to death by incarceration (life in prison with no chance for parole), for an offense he was involved in as a 16-year-old. In 2018, after serving 27 years in the Pennsylvania state prison system, he was released on lifetime parole after the The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional. In prison Holbrook began organizing for the rights of incarcerated people, including co-founding the Human Rights Coalition and the Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration. Upon his release from prison in 2018, he joined the staff of the Abolitionist Law Center, a PA-based, non-profit, public interest law firm; and in 2020, he was promoted to become ALC’s executive director – a position he still holds. In 2021, Holbrook led the establishment of PA-based Straight Ahead, ALC’s legislative, lobbying, and electoral arm, where he also serves as executive director.

How a Decarceral and Abolitionist Movement Helped Defeat the “Red Wave” in Pennsylvania