50 State Guide, March 2010
Prison-based gerrymandering violates the constitutional principle of “One Person, One Vote.” The Supreme Court requires districts to be based on equal population in order to give each resident the same access to government. But a longstanding flaw in the Census counts incarcerated people as residents of the prison location, even though they can’t vote and aren’t a part of the surrounding community.
When legislators claim people incarcerated in their districts are legitimate constituents, they award people who live close to the prison more of a say in government than everybody else.
|County||Most distorted district||Prison in district||Prison population||Vote enhancement|
|Bledsoe||District 1||Southeastern Tennessee State Regional Correctional Facility||969||34.7%|
|Davidson||District 20||Middle Tennessee Correctional Complex (now called the Charles Bass Correctional Complex), Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, and Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility||2,569||15.4%|
|Hardeman||District 3||Whiteville Correctional Facility- CCA and Hardeman County Correctional Center||3,377||58.7%|
|Hickman||District 1||Turney Center Industrial Prison and Farm||1,106||33.4%|
|Johnson||District 5||Northeastern Correctional Complex||1,299||38.3%|
|Lake||District 1||Northwest Correctional Complex[i]||1,799||87.6%|
|Lauderdale||District 5||Western Tennessee State Penitentiary||2,346||69.3%|
|Morgan||n/a[ii]||Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex||1,536||47.0%|
|Tipton||District 7||Tipton County Western Tennessee Detention Facility||527||9.5%|
|Wayne||District 2||South Central Correctional Facility and Wayne County Boot Camp||1,894||78.9%|