New Jersey bill to end prison-based gerrymandering passes first step

by Aleks Kajstura, May 15, 2012  

Will New Jersey be the next state to end prison-based gerrymandering? Yesterday, S1055, a bill to count incarcerated people at home for redistricting purposes, passed the New Jersey Senate’s Committee on State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation.

Senator Cunningham introduced the bill in January, and the bill was now up for consideration before the Senate committee. There was great turn-out in support of the bill, and I joined several people in presenting testimony: Brother Aula Sumbry (Integrated Justice Alliance of New Jersey), Dr. Johanna Foster (Integrated Justice Alliance), Alex Shalom (ACLU – New Jersey), Nicole Plett (Building One New Jersey), Lawrence Hamm and Jean Ross (People’s Organization for Progress), and Scott Nolen (New Jersey Institute for Social Justice).

When voting to pass the bill, Senator Turner (District 15) noted that she was voting in favor of the bill even though she had large prisons in her district. If New Jersey values fairness and equality as much as Senator Turner does, then the state will soon be the 5th in the country to end prison-based gerrymandering at the state level.

New York and Maryland implemented their laws ending prison-based gerrymandering this past redistricting cycle and California and Delaware’s laws will first apply after the next census. The New Jersey bill will now go onto the full Senate.

Meet us

  • Jan 25-27, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in Charlotte, North Carolina for meetings about redistricting and ending prison gerrymandering. Contact us if you’d like to meet up.
  • February 5, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in New York for the reception of the exhibition, Prison Obscura, curated by Prison Photography editor Pete Brook. The exhibition includes Prison Map by Josh Begley and Proliferation by Paul Rucker, both of which rely on Prison Policy Initiative data to show the scale of mass incarceration. The event will be held at Parsons School of Design from 6:30-8:30pm and a Curator’s Talk by Pete Brooks at 5:45pm.
  • February 6, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be at Yale for a panel presentation at the Equality Re-Imagined Conference.
  • February 20, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner, Board Member Amanda Alexander and Advisory Board Member Bruce Reilly will present on a panel entitled “The fight against mass incarceration: Combining litigation and policy work for systemic change” at RebLaw at Yale Law School from 3-4:30pm.
  • February 24, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be speaking to the American Constitution Society Chapter at UConn School of Law at 12:30pm. Topics will include mass incarceration, prison gerrymandering, sentencing enhancement zones and more.

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

Events

  • Jan 25-27, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in Charlotte, North Carolina for meetings about redistricting and ending prison gerrymandering. Contact us if you’d like to meet up.
  • February 5, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be in New York for the reception of the exhibition, Prison Obscura, curated by Prison Photography editor Pete Brook. The exhibition includes Prison Map by Josh Begley and Proliferation by Paul Rucker, both of which rely on Prison Policy Initiative data to show the scale of mass incarceration. The event will be held at Parsons School of Design from 6:30-8:30pm and a Curator’s Talk by Pete Brooks at 5:45pm.
  • February 6, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be at Yale for a panel presentation at the Equality Re-Imagined Conference.
  • February 20, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner, Board Member Amanda Alexander and Advisory Board Member Bruce Reilly will present on a panel entitled “The fight against mass incarceration: Combining litigation and policy work for systemic change” at RebLaw at Yale Law School from 3-4:30pm.
  • February 24, 2015:
    Executive Director Peter Wagner will be speaking to the American Constitution Society Chapter at UConn School of Law at 12:30pm. Topics will include mass incarceration, prison gerrymandering, sentencing enhancement zones and more.

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

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