Massachusetts’ Joint Redistricting Committee learning about prison-based gerrymandering

by Aleks Kajstura, May 18, 2011  

Massachusetts is in the midst of redrawing legislative districts for the next decade. Brenda Wright, Director of the Democracy Program at Demos, testified about prison-based gerrymandering before the Before the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting of the Massachusetts General Court. The extensive and thorough testimony included this summary of the problem:

Because of the rise in incarceration rates, the practice of allocating incarcerated persons to prison districts substantially skews redistricting. As shown by research conducted by the Prison Policy Initiative, without using prison populations as padding, five Massachusetts House districts would not have met minimum constitutional population requirements after the 2000 Census.

Kevin Peterson provides more background on redistricting issues facing Massachusetts in a recent CommonWealth Magazine article.

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  • July 7, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be speaking to Windsor DL about Ending Prison Gerrymandering in Connecticut at Windsor’s Union Street Tavern at 7:30pm. More info.
  • July 19-21, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in Baltimore Maryland for a conference July 19-21. Contact us if you’d like to meet up or arrange another event while Peter is in town.
  • September 13, 2015:
    Peter Wagner will be speaking on a panel at New Haven Artspace’s conference on race, criminal justice, and artistic expression. The conference is Sept 12-13, and Peter’s panel will be on Sept 13.

Not near you?
Invite us to your city, college or organization.