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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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—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Census Prisoner Count Dilutes Urban Political Clout in Pennsylvania

by Peter Wagner, July 10, 2009

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The voting power of Philadelphians is diluted on the state level because state and federal prisoners are counted by the U.S. Census Bureau where they are incarcerated, instead of the prisoners’ home communities in which they lived before they were incarcerated, an advocacy group has concluded.

Eight state House of Representatives districts would not meet federal “one-person, one-vote” standards if nonvoting state prisoners did not count as district residents for purposes of drawing up legislative districts, according to an analysis conducted by Prison Policy Initiative, an advocacy group based in Northampton, Mass.

That’s the lead to an excellent article, Report: Census Prisoner Count Dilutes Urban Political Clout, by Amaris Elliott-Engel in The Legal Intelligencer about our newest report Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Pennsylvania.

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Events

  • November 29, 2017:
    Legal Director Aleks Kajstura will be in DC speaking at the congressional Democratic Women’s Working Group dinner about women’s mass incarceration.

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