Andrew Cohen blogs on the struggle to end prison gerrymandering

by Peter Wagner, October 8, 2013

A new blog post by Andrew Cohen at the Brennan Center for Justice reviews the struggle to end prison gerrymandering, adding some great historical context:

Fifty years ago, in two vital cases you don’t hear much about anymore, the United States Supreme Court set forth a “one person, one vote” standard for legislative redistricting that we all think we live under today….

Now let’s jump ahead half a century for a lesson in how even the Court’s noblest endeavors can be undermined by practical realities. The federal government, in the form of the Census Bureau, is permitting states and counties all over the country to undermine the “one person, one vote” concept.

His piece then goes on to discuss some of the new developments in the movement to ensure that the Census Bureau listens to the state and local governments that are calling for a national end to prison gerrymandering, and agrees to tabulate incarcerated people as reidents of their home communities in the next census.

Thanks, Andrew!

(For more of Andrew’s great updates and reporting on criminal justice issues, follow him on Twitter, and check out the other pieces he’s written for the Brennan Center for Justice and for The Atlantic.)

Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Get our newsletter Donate


  • May 15, 2018:
    Our Policy Analyst Lucius Couloute will be at the LEDA Summit on Race and Inclusion in Holland, Michigan, presenting his research on the challenges and disadvantages people face when they are released from prison. Tickets are available on LEDA’s website.

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