Local governments that avoid prison-based gerrymandering

Last update: November 15, 2013

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“Many counties with large prisons within their borders have rejected the practice of counting inmates as ‘residents’ when they saw how doing so allowed lightly populated towns near prisons to hijack a disproportionate share of political power while diminishing the power of towns that did not have prisons.”

Prisons and Redistricting, New York Times editorial, December 21, 2011

Seven states (Colorado, Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, and New York) encourage or even require local governments to exclude prison populations during redistricting, but local governments in other states have taken initiative to solve the problem on their own. This page lists county or municipal governments that are known to have avoided prison-based gerrymandering when drawing local districts after the 2010 and 2000 Censuses. We’re still working on the list of districts drawn after the 2010 Census. If you know of other places to be added to either list, please contact us.

Note: These listed communities avoid prison-based gerrymandering by various means that all achieve the same result of giving equal representation to residents who live adjacent to and far from the prison. These methods include: ignoring the prison population, cutting a hole in their maps around the prison, overpopulating the district with the prison by the exact amount of the prison population, or splitting the prison population between all districts equally. Not included on this list are the communities like Anamosa, Iowa and Berlin, New Hampshire that abolished their districts as a way to avoid prison-based gerrymandering.

Select counties, cities and towns that avoided prison-based gerrymandering after the 2010 Census

  • Alabama counties: Escambia
  • Alabama cities: Brent, Town of Clayton, Columbiana, Wetumpka
  • Arizona cities: Douglas
  • Arkansas counties: Hot Spring, Lee, Lincoln, St. Francis
  • Arkansas cities: Forrest City, Malvern
  • California counties: Amador, Del Norte, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Madera, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Tuolumne.
  • Colorado cities: Brighton, Cañon, Centennial, Golden, Sterling
  • Connecticut towns: Cheshire, Enfield
  • Florida counties: Bradford, Franklin, Gulf, Lafayette, Madison, Okeechobee, Washington
  • Georgia counties: Butts, Calhoun, Dooly, Johnson, Macon, Stewart, Tattnall, Telfair, Washington, Wilcox
  • Georgia cities: Claxton, Glennville, Gray, McRae, Ocilla
  • Illinois counties: Bond, Christian, Crawford, Fayette, Fulton, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lee, Livingston, Montgomery, Rock Island, Will
  • Illinois cities: Canton, Chester, Crest Hill, Danville, East Moline, Galesburg, Jacksonville, Pontiac, Robinson, St. Charles
  • Indiana counties: Vigo
  • Indiana cities: Crown Point, Terre Haute thumbnail of Terre Haute Tribune Star editorial in praising city council for ending prison-based gerrymandering
  • Kentucky counties: Casey, Elliott, Lee, Marion, McCreary, Morgan, Oldham
  • Kansas counties: Leavenworth
  • Kansas cities: Lansing
  • Louisiana parishes: Avoyelles, Caldwell, Clairborne, Concordia, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Grant, Iberville, La Salle, Richland, West Carroll, West Feliciana, Winn
  • Louisiana cities: Town of Amite City, Oakdale
  • Maine school districts: MSAD 40 (Knox County)
  • Maryland counties: Somerset
  • Maryland cities: Baltimore
  • Michigan counties: Branch, Gogebic, Saginaw
  • Mississippi counties: Adams, Greene, Sunflower, Tallahatchie
  • Mississippi cities: Holly Springs, Lucedale
  • Missouri counties: Cole, Pike, Randolph
  • Missouri cities: Bonne Terre, Clayton, Farmington, Hillsboro, Jefferson, Licking, Tipton, Vandalia
  • Nebraska counties: Johnson
  • New Jersey cities: Camden
  • New York counties: Cayuga, Clinton, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Genesee, Greene, Oneida, Orleans, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Westchester
  • New York cities: Beacon, Brookhaven (town)
  • North Carolina counties: Caswell, Columbus
  • Ohio cities: Lima
  • Oklahoma counties: Alfalfa, Blaine, Greer, Holdenville, Hominy, Woods
  • Oklahoma cities: Lawton, Town of McLoud, Sayre, Watonga
  • South Carolina counties: Allendale, Edgefield, Lee, Marlboro, McCormick
  • South Dakota: Bon Homme
  • Texas counties: Anderson, Bastrop, Bee, Bowie, Brazoria, Brown, Burnet, Cherokee, Childress, Concho, Coryell, Dawson, DeWitt, Dickens, Duval, Fannin, Freestone, Frio, Garza, Hale, Haskell, Houston, Howard, Jack, Jones, Karnes, Kinney, La Salle, Live Oak, Madison, Medina, Mitchell, Pecos, Potter, Reeves, Rusk, Terry, Walker, Wichita, Willacy
  • Texas cities: Big Spring, Brownfield, Bryan, Henderson, Huntsville, Karnes City, Mineral Wells, Post, Victoria
  • Texas school districts: Fort Stockton Independent School District, Marlin Independent School District
  • Virginia counties: Brunswick, Greensville, Lee, Prince George, Richmond, Sussex
  • West Virginia cities: Moundsville
  • Wisconsin counties: Crawford
  • Wisconsin cities: Baraboo, New Lisbon, Portage, Prairie du Chien, Stanley

Select counties, cities and towns that avoided prison-based gerrymandering after the 2000 Census

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, a PPI collaboration with Josh Begley. The event will be held at Parsons School of Design from 6:30-8:30pm.
  • February 6, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be at Yale for a panel presentation at the “Equality Re-Imagined” Conference. Further details TBA.
  • 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, a PPI collaboration with Josh Begley. The event will be held at Parsons School of Design from 6:30-8:30pm.
  • February 6, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be at Yale for a panel presentation at the “Equality Re-Imagined” Conference. Further details TBA.
  • 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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