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Journalist Alan Elsner’s new book on criminal justice system calls for changing Census

by Peter Wagner, April 22, 2004

book cover

Alan Elsner’s new book on the U.S. prison system, Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America’s Prisons includes a call for reforming how the U.S. Census counts prisoners. Counting prisoners in the facility town and not at home is discussed in Chapter 10 about rural prisons and is included in Chapter 12’s list of “Some Modest Suggestions”:

“The way in which the Census Bureau counts inmates as citizens of the jurisdictions where they are jailed for purposes of drawing political boundaries or awarding federal grants seems like a clear case of inequity…. Fixing this would send a strong signal of the nation’s continued commitment to social justice.”

Source: Alan Elsner, Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America’s Prisons, Prentice Hall, 2004, p. 221.

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