Bill example: Correct census to count incarcerated people at home.

This example bill is now outdated. We recommend instead using this version prepared in April 2010.

This bill is an example of how states can fix the Census data by creating a special state-level census that collects the home addresses of people in prison and then adjusts the U.S. Census counts prior to state and municipal redistricting. This approach is modeled after how Kansas changes where the U.S. Census counts students and the military.

—Peter Wagner
last updated May 02, 2016

AN ACT concerning
Prison Census Correction

For the purpose of ensuring accurate population counts used for the purpose of creating the legislative districting plan for the General Assembly and county legislative districts and generally relating to population counts of incarcerated individuals and the creation of legislative districts.

1. Not later than May first of the year in which the federal decennial census is conducted, each state agency in this state that operates a facility for the incarceration of persons convicted of a criminal offense, including a mental health institution for those persons, or that places any person convicted of a criminal offense in a private facility to be incarcerated on behalf of the state agency, shall submit a report to the Secretary of State that includes, as of the date the federal decennial census was taken:

  • for each incarcerated person included in the federal decennial census, the last address prior to the current incarceration or any other address of legal residence outside of a correctional facility
  • the number of persons for which such information could not be collected.

2. The Secretary of State shall request that, not later than by the date specified in section one, each agency that operates a federal facility in this state that incarcerates persons convicted of a criminal offense to provide the Secretary of State with a report as described in section one.

3. No later than June first of the year following each decennial Census, the Secretary of State shall eliminate each person for whom an address of residence is provided included in a report received under sections one and two, from all applicable population counts reported in the PL94-171 Redistricting Data File and shall add each person to the geographic units in the PL94-171 Redistricting Data File that represent their address of residence.

4. The Secretary of State shall make this corrected version of the PL94-171 Redistricting Data File publicly available, and it shall be used as the basis of all state, county, and municipal legislative districts.

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