Ending prison-based gerrymandering in your community, your state and in the nation

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“Voters who come to understand how this system cheats them are unlikely to keep rewarding the politicians who support it.”

Prison-Based Gerrymandering, New York Times editorial, May 20, 2006

The Census Bureau may have counted incarcerated people in the wrong place, but your state and local governments are not powerless to fix the problem. The states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, and California plus more than 200 cities and counties have already taken action. You need to make sure that your leaders seize the opportunity.

If you are in one of these 9 states, you can join these established campaigns:

More state campaigns are expected to form shortly. But you don't need to wait. You can get the facts about your state and start your own campaign. And in any event, join our newsletter for breaking news and analysis.

Much of the action is likely to take place in rural counties and cities that contain large prisons, because a single large prison can be a large part if not the majority of a district. There, campaigns tend to form quickly and achieve victory even more quickly.

To help you start your own campaign, we've published our research on counties and cities that we know currently engage in prison-based gerrymandering, and those that don't and prepared a Democracy Toolkit to help rural democracy activists determine if prison populations are skewing their current districts in other jurisdictions. Contact us if we can help you apply these resources to your local situation.

We also published Preventing Prison-Based Gerrymandering: What to Watch For, a guide to tell you what to look for in your state's redistricting data and proposed plans in order to minimize the harm of prison-based gerrymandering.

Elected officials and members of organizations should also consider passing resolutions calling on the Census Bureau to change how incarcerated people are counted. A change at the Census Bureau is the best and most efficient solution.

Meet us

  • Jan 25-27, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in Charlotte, North Carolina for meetings about redistricting and ending prison gerrymandering. Contact us if you’d like to meet up.
  • February 5, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in New York for the reception of the exhibition, Prison Obscura, curated by Prison Photography editor Pete Brook. The exhibition includes Prison Map by Josh Begley and Proliferation by Paul Rucker, both of which rely on Prison Policy Initiative data to show the scale of mass incarceration. The event will be held at Parsons School of Design from 6:30-8:30pm and a Curator’s Talk by Pete Brooks at 5:45pm.
  • February 6, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be at Yale for a panel presentation at the Equality Re-Imagined Conference.
  • February 20, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner, Board Member Amanda Alexander and Advisory Board Member Bruce Reilly will present on a panel entitled “The fight against mass incarceration: Combining litigation and policy work for systemic change” at RebLaw at Yale Law School from 3-4:30pm.
  • February 24, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be speaking to the American Constitution Society Chapter at UConn School of Law at 12:30pm. Topics will include mass incarceration, prison gerrymandering, sentencing enhancement zones and more.

Not near you?
Invite us to your city, college or organization.

Events

  • Jan 25-27, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in Charlotte, North Carolina for meetings about redistricting and ending prison gerrymandering. Contact us if you’d like to meet up.
  • February 5, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in New York for the reception of the exhibition, Prison Obscura, curated by Prison Photography editor Pete Brook. The exhibition includes Prison Map by Josh Begley and Proliferation by Paul Rucker, both of which rely on Prison Policy Initiative data to show the scale of mass incarceration. The event will be held at Parsons School of Design from 6:30-8:30pm and a Curator’s Talk by Pete Brooks at 5:45pm.
  • February 6, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be at Yale for a panel presentation at the Equality Re-Imagined Conference.
  • February 20, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner, Board Member Amanda Alexander and Advisory Board Member Bruce Reilly will present on a panel entitled “The fight against mass incarceration: Combining litigation and policy work for systemic change” at RebLaw at Yale Law School from 3-4:30pm.
  • February 24, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be speaking to the American Constitution Society Chapter at UConn School of Law at 12:30pm. Topics will include mass incarceration, prison gerrymandering, sentencing enhancement zones and more.

Not near you?
Invite us to your city, college or organization.

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