Peter Wagner, Executive Director
I need your help. For more than a decade, the Prison Policy Initiative has been at the forefront of the movement to expose how mass incarceration undermines our national welfare. We've won major civil rights victories in local governments, state legislatures and even the Supreme Court. But our long-term viability depends on people like you investing in our work.

Can you stand up for smart and effective justice policy by joining our small network of donors today? You can make a one-time gift, or even become one of our sustaining monthly donors.

Through the end of 2014, your contribution will stretch twice as far thanks to a match commitment from a small group of other donors like you.

I thank you for investing in our work towards a more just tomorrow.
—Peter
... (read more) (read less)

Legislation

State and local governments need not wait for the Census Bureau to change where incarcerated people are counted to end prison-based gerrymandering. They can take action on their own. On this page, we provide some model legislation, and links to enacted legislation, current bills, and previously introduced legislation. See also our resolutions page for non-binding resolutions.

Model legislation

Enacted legislation

  • California: AB 420, An act to add Section 21003 to the Elections Code, relating to redistricting, introduced by Assembly Member Davis, February 14, 2011. The bill passed the Assembly on June 1 and the Senate on August 30, and was signed by the governor on October 7, 2011. And AB 1986, An act to amend Section 21003 of the Elections Code, relating to redistricting, introduced by Assembly Member Davis, amended March 29, 2012, was signed by the governor on September 14, 2012. (The bill amends AB 420, adding privacy protections and covering people incarcerated in federal facilities, a full bill analysis is available from the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting.)
  • Colorado: Senate Bill 02-007 Concerning County Commissioner Redistricting, sponsored by Senator Hillman, and Representatives Kester, Garcia, and Hoppe, and approved by the Governor on March 27, 2002, prohibits counties from using prison populations when drawing county commissioner districts. Two years later, the state passed House Bill 04-1230, Concerning the Election of School District Directors from Director Districts, sponsored by representatives Hall, May M., Crane, Fairbank, Lundberg, Mitchell, Rose, Williams S., Williams T., Cadman, Garcia, Hefley, Lee, and Vigil and Senator Jones, and approved by the Governor on April 21, 2004, which prohibits school districts from using prison populations when drawing school director districts.
  • Delaware: House Bill # 384, An Act To Amend Title 29 of the Delaware Code Relating to State Government, passed unanimously by the Delaware House, June 1, 2010, and 17-3 in the Delaware Senate, June 30, 2010. Signed by the Governor August 31, 2010, Primary sponsor: Representative Keeley. Additional sponsors: Rep. J. Johnson & Rep. D.P. Williams & Sen. Henry. Cosponsors: Reps. Barbieri, Brady, Hudson, Mitchell; Sens. Marshall, McDowell. Amended May 13, 2011.
  • Maryland: No Representation Without Population Act, introduced in the House of Delegates by Delegate Pena-Melnyk as HB496 and in the Senate by Senator Pugh as SB400, January 29, 2010. Signed by the governor, April 13, 2010. Regulations were adopted, effective February 25, 2011.
  • Massachusetts:S 309 and H 3185 "Resolutions Urging the Census Bureau to Provide Redistricting Data that Counts Prisoners in a Manner Consistent with the Principles of 'One Person, One Vote,'" sponsored by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Linda Dorcena Forry, respectively, introduced on January 22, 2013. The resulting joint resolution was passed by the Senate on July 31, 2014 and the House on August 14, 2014, and delivered to the Director of the Census Bureau on September 12, 2014.
  • Michigan: Statutory requirements for redistricting prevent state prison populations from skewing either county (Mich. Comp. Laws § 46.404(g)) or municipal (Mich. Comp. Laws § 117.27a (5)) democracy. The statutes provide that the district population cannot include anyone in a state institution who is not a resident of the city or county for election purposes.
  • New York's bill to end prison-based gerrymandering was attached as part XX of the revenue budget (A9710D/S6610C) and had a technical amendment, A11597/S8415. The Bill and the amendment passed the Assembly on July 1, and the Senate on August 3, 2010. Both were signed by the governor on August 11, 2010.
  • Essex County, New York: More than a hundred rural counties and municipalities around the country refuse to engage in prison-based gerrymandering when drawing their local district lines, but to our knowledge Essex County Local Law No 1 of 2003 is the only one to put their rationale directly the law's text.
  • Virginia: HB 13, "Redistricting local districts; local government may exclude prison populations from its calculation," prefiled by Delegate Riley E. Ingram, December 2, 2011, passed unanimously by both the House and Senate in February 2012, and signed into law by the Governor on March 23, 2012. (For our analysis of the bill, see Virginia bill would help counties avoid prison-based gerrymandering.) HB 1339, "Election districts & redistricting; locality permitted to exclude from census correctional facility," prefiled by Delegate R. Lee Ware, Jr., November 20, 2012, passed the House unanimously on January 23, and with bipartisan support in the Senate on February 15, and was signed into law by the Governor on March 18, 2013. (For our analysis of the bill, see Virginia ends mandatory prison gerrymandering.)The bills apply only to county, city or municipal redistricting, and do not apply to funding or other uses of Census data, including state redistricting.

Current bills

  • Federal: HR 1537, "To amend title 13, United States Code, to provide that individuals in prison shall, for the purposes of a decennial census, be attributed to the last place of residence before incarceration," introduced by Representatives Jeffries (NY), Richmond (LA), Rangel (NY), Johnson (GA), Clarke (NY), Scott (VA) on April 12, 2013.
  • New Jersey: S480, "requir[ing] incarcerated individual from State to be counted at residential address for legislative redistricting purposes", introduced by Senator Sandra Cunningham, January 14, 2014; and A659, introduced by Assemblymembers Cryan, Wisniewski, Oliver, and Quijano.

Efforts in previous legislative sessions:

  • Illinois: HB 62, "No Representation Without Population Act," prefiled by Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, January 3, 2013. The bill passed the House on May 15, 2013, it is now under consideration in the Senate.
  • Rhode Island: "The Residence of Those in Government Custody Act," introduced as S 2286 by Senators Metts, Crowley, Pichardo, and Jabour on February 4, 2014, and as H 7263 by Representatives Williams, Tanzi, Slater, Diaz, and Palangio, on January 30, 2014.
  • Connecticut: HB 5518, "An Act Concerning the Determination of Residence for Incarcerated Persons," introduced by Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, January 22, 2013; HB 6679, "An Act Concerning the Counting of Incarcerated Persons for Purposes of Determining Legislative Districts and Distributing State and Federal Funds," introduced by the Judiciary Committee, March 25, 2013.
  • Oregon: SB 516, sponsored by the committee on General Government, Consumer And Small Business Protection, and HB 2686, sponsored by Representatives Berger and Bailey, both introduced in the 2013 Regular Session.
  • Rhode Island: "The Residence of Those in Government Custody Act," introduced as S 0147 by Senators Metts, Crowley, Pichardo, and Jabour on January 24, 2013, and as H 5283 by Representatives Williams, Lally, Guthrie, Hull, and Ajello, on February 6, 2013.
  • Texas: "An Act Relating to the inclusion of an incarcerated person in the population data used for redistricting according to the person's last residence before incarceration" was filed by Representative Dutton as HB 329 on December 21, 2012, and Representative Johnson as HB 684 on January 24, 2013.
  • Kentucky: BR 219, "An act relating to information used in redistricting", pre-filed by Representative Darryl T. Owens, October 25, 2012.
  • New Jersey: S1055, "requir[ing] incarcerated individual from State to be counted at residential address for legislative redistricting purposes", introduced by Senator Sandra Cunningham, January, 2012; and A1437, introduced by Assemblymembers Watson Coleman and Coutinho.
  • Rhode Island: H 7090 Residence of Those in Government Custody Act, introduced by Representatives Williams, Cimini, Handy, Slater, and McCauley, January 11, 2012 and S 2218, introduced by Senators Metts, and Pichardo, January 24, 2012.
  • Arkansas: HB1996 To Clarify County Population for Apportionment Purposes; To Require the Department of Correction to Collect and Maintain Residential Address Information for Incarcerated Persons, introduced by Rep. Andrea Lea, March 4, 2011; HB2102 To Clarify County Population for Apportionment Purposes, to Require the Department of Corrections to Collect and Maintain Residential Address Information for Incarcerated Persons, to Clarify the Distribution of Funds to Counties, introduced by Rep. Andrea Lea, March 7, 2011; Resolution HR1024 To Urge the United States Census Bureau to Provide Redistricting Data that Counts Prisoners in a Manner Consistent with the Principles of "One Person, One Vote", introduced by Rep. Andrea Lea, March 7, 2011
  • Connecticut: HB6606, An Act Concerning the Determination of the Residence of Incarcerated Persons for Purposes of Legislative Redistricting, introduced March 16, 2011
  • Georgia: HB 163 To provide for the inclusion and exclusion of certain prisoners in population counts when redistricting plans are created, sponsored by Representatives Dawkins-Haigler, Mayo, Beasley-Teague, Stephenson, Heard and Stephens, February 2, 2011
  • Indiana: House Bill 1459 Residence of incarcerated persons, introduced by Rep. C. Brown, January 20, 2011
  • Illinois: HB94 Prisoner Census Addresses, introduced by Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, January 12, 2011
  • Oregon: Senate Bill 720, Relating to redistricting, February 15, 2011
  • Rhode Island: Senate Bill 0340, Senators Metts, Pichardo, Jabour, Goodwin, and Perry, February 16, 2011
  • Texas: HB 1227, Relating to the inclusion of an incarcerated person in the population data used for redistricting according to the person's last residence before incarceration, introduced by Representative Dutton, February 9, 2011.
  • Virginia: HB 2073 Redistricting local districts; local government may exclude from its calculations, introduced by Delegate Riley E. Ingram, January 12, 2011. it passed the House, 99-0 on February 8, 2011, but was passed over in the Senate.
  • Kentucky: HB 484, AN ACT relating to information used in redistricting, introduced by Representative D. Owens, February 14, 2011
  • New York: S6725A, AN ACT to amend the correction law, the legislative law, and the municipal home rule law, in relation to the collection of census data, with Sponsor's Memo, introduced by New York State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, February 1, 2010 and A9834A introduced by New York State Assemblymember Jeffries, and co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Espaillat, Dinowitz, Arroyo, Rivera P, Heastie, Lavine, Benjamin, Kavanagh, Kellner, Boyland, Clark, Crespo, Glick, Hooper, Latimer, Peoples-Stokes, Perry, Rosenthal, Stirpe, and Towns.
  • Federal: Rep Gene Green (D, TX) has introduced a bill that would require the U.S. Census, starting with the 2020 Census, to count incarcerated people as residents of their pre-incarceration addresses: H.R. 2075, April 23, 2009
  • Rhode Island: Residence of Those in Government Custody Act [PDF] (H7833), introduced by Representative Joseph S. Almeida, February 25, 2010 and S2452 [PDF] introduced by Senators Metts, Jabour, Pichardo, Goodwin, and Perry, February 11, 2010
  • Connecticut: General Assembly Bill No. 5523
  • Florida: Senate 1386 introduced by Senator Bullard on January 26, 2010
  • Illinois: Prisoner Census Adjustment Act introduced by Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, October 14, 2009
  • Minnesota: An act relating to redistricting; requiring the exclusion of persons incarcerated in state or federal correctional facilities from population counts used for state and local redistricting, introduced by Senator Higgins, March 2010: S.F. No. 3097 and H.F. 3536 introduced by Rep. Champion
  • Pennsylvania: A Resolution urging the United States Census Bureau to change its policy of recording the residence of incarcerated persons from the location of the correctional facilities to the last known home address of such persons, introduced by Representatives Cruz, Youngblood, Parker and Siptroth, January 20, 2010
  • Wisconsin: Census Correction Amendment [PDF] to require that incarcerated people be excluded from the population base used for redistricting legislative, county, and other districts. Introduced by Representatives Kessler, Black, Grigsby, Turner and A. Williams, cosponsored by Senator Taylor, June 22, 2009.
  • Oregon: Senate Bill 1028, sponsored by Senator Shields; Senator Rosenbaum, Representatives Holvey, Kahl, Kotek, February 1, 2010
  • New York: S1633 introduced by New York State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman and Senators Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Hassell-Thompson, Krueger, Montgomery, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Parker, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Stavisky and Thompson An Act to amend the election law, in relation to the residential classification of certain incarcerated persons February 3, 2009, and A9380 introduced by Assemblymember Jeffries, and co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Espaillat, Dinowitz, Arroyo, Rivera P, Heastie, Lavine, Benjamin, Kavanagh, Kellner, Boyland, Clark, Crespo, Glick, Hooper, Latimer, Peoples-Stokes, Perry, Rosenthal, Stirpe, and Towns.
  • Oregon: H2930, introduced by Representative Shields (D, Oregon); Representatives Bruun, Freeman, Greenlick, Kahl, J Smith, directing the Department of Corrections to collect home address information so the legislature can draw districts with inmates counted at their home addresses [PDF], audio from hearing, (.ram file, start at minute 28) March 2009
  • Texas: Acts relating to the inclusion of an incarcerated person in the population data used for redistricting according to the person's last residence before incarceration. HB 672 introduced by Rep. Hodge in January 2009, and HB2855 introduced by Rep. Dutton, March 2009.
  • Pennsylvania: H525 introduced by Pennsylvania Reps. Cruz, Youngblood, Myers, Wheatley, Caltagirone, Parker, Josephs, Swanger and James, Urging the United States Census Bureau to change its policy of recording the residence of incarcerated persons from the location of the correctional facilities to the last known home address of such persons , December 6, 2007 [PDF].
  • Michigan: HB No 4935 introduced by Michigan Reps. Lemmons, Young and Gonzales A bill to require state and local governmental bodies to use census figures adjusted to reflect preincarceration addresses of persons imprisoned in this state June 19, 2007
  • New York: S1934 introduced by New York State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, An Act to amend the election law, in relation to the residential classification of certain incarcerated persons January 29, 2007
  • New York: S2754 introduced by New York State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman An Act to amend the election law, in relation to the residential classification of certain incarcerated persons February 25, 2005
  • Illinois: HB 906 introduced by Illinois Representative Arthur Turner Prisoner Census Adjustment Act February 2, 2005
  • Illinois: HB 7338 introduced by Illinois Representative Arthur Turner Prisoner Census Adjustment Act October 22, 2004. Bill text
  • Texas: H.B. No. 2639 drafted by Texas Representative Dutton An act relating to the inclusion of an incarcerated person in the population data used for redistricting according to the person's last residence before incarceration. (2001)

Meet us

  • 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.

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

Events

  • 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.

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

Newsletters:

Get the latest updates by signing up for our newsletters:


Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Donate Contact Us