I need your help. Prison gerrymandering gives extra political power to legislators who have prisons in their districts. We put numbers on the problem and sparked a movement to protect our democratic process from the overgrown prison system.

Can you help us continue the fight? All gifts made this year will be automatically matched by other donors. Thank you.

Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

“Residents” not by choice but by Census policy

by Peter Wagner, August 25, 2003

Almost 30 percent of new residents who came to Upstate New York in the 1990s didn’t make the trip by choice, and they didn’t move into subdivisions or houses on secluded cul-de-sacs. They were inmates making their new homes in prison cells, according to a new report on population trends in upstate.

–Gannet News Service, August 24, 2003

That was perhaps the most striking statistic in a new report by the Brookings Institution documenting the stagnation of much of upstate, which grew in population just 1.1 percent in the ’90s.

Counting prisoners in their home community would avoid this type of confusion that skews Census statistics.

See our New York maps showing how counting urban prisoners as residents of rural prison towns undermines the accuracy and utilitity of Census data.

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