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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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Redrawing the Lines

by Aleks Kajstura, November 19, 2010

Last week the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) launched its public education program “Redrawing the Lines.”

The newly-unveiled website features user-friendly content that providing an overview of the redistricting process. The site has a Redistricting 101 guide that includes a page on the impact of prison populations on redistricting. Efforts to end prison-based gerrymandering are also highlighted among other reform efforts.

Although rarely discussed in the context of redistricting, both the census miscount of prisoners and felon disfranchisement laws have a significant impact on minority communities. While much of the redistricting reform debate has focused on partisanship and IRCs, these proposals have failed to address two very significant problems faced by minority communities during the redistricting process.

The Redrawing the Lines program promotes the importance of participating in the redistricting process, the site provides a good general summary of the ways in which the districting process is manipulated and encourages everyone to get involved.

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