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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.

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Most of New York State’s prison cells are in Republican Assembly Districts

by Peter Wagner, September 20, 2004

New York State is a majority Democratic state, but the politics — like the prisons and prisoners — are far from evenly distributed throughout the state. The Republican party controls only 1 in 3 New York State Assembly Districts, mostly in the state’s sparsely populated upstate region.

While the majority of the state’s prisoners come from heavily Democratic New York City, they are disproportionately incarcerated in Republican Assembly Districts. As of January 2003, 69% of the state’s prison cells are in Assembly Districts represented by Republicans.

map showing that 69% of NY's prison cells are in Republican Assembly districts

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