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

Prisoner count skews Illinois population

by Peter Wagner, January 12, 2004

Paul Street illustrates how Census counts of prisoners at the prisons rather than at home skew the population of Illinois in important ways:

… The Chicago metropolitan area is home to 83 percent of the state’s African-Americans and point of origin for 70 percent of the state’s prisoners. Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of the state’s 45,629 prisoners in 2001 were African-American, a percentage more than four timers greater than blacks’ share of Illinois’ population. Forty-four percent of the state’s prisoners are African Americans from Chicago’s Cook County. Eighteen of the twenty adult correctional facilities constructed over the last two decades in Illinois are located in counties that are disproportionately white for the state. Just four of the state’s twenty post-1980 prison towns have above-average black populations for the state but in three of those this is only because they get to report prisoners as part of their population.

The Political Consequences of Racist Felon Disenfranchisement by Paul Street in The BlackCommentator.

Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Get our newsletter Donate Contact Us


Events

Nothing scheduled right now. Invite us to to your city, college or organization.