New fact sheet about prison gerrymandering in Connecticut
by Peter Wagner, February 26, 2014
We’ve updated our fact sheet about prison gerrymandering in Connecticut, produced with Common Cause Connecticut. The fact sheet summarizes the findings of our 2013 report Imported “Constituents”: Incarcerated People and Political Clout in Connecticut:
- Although almost every town in Connecticut had residents incarcerated elsewhere on Census Day, the majority of the state’s prison cells are in 5 small towns: Cheshire, East Lyme, Enfield, Somers, and Suffield.
- The majority-white residents of 7 State House districts got significantly more representation in the legislature because each of their districts included at least 1,000 incarcerated African-Americans and Latinos from other parts of the state.
- For example, State House District 59, (Enfield) claimed more than 3,300 African Americans and Latinos as constituents. But 72% of the African Americans and 60% of Latinos were not actually residents of the district, but rather were temporarily incarcerated in the Enfield, Willard and Robinson Correctional Institutions.
- The dilution of African-American and Latino political power was not limited to the 59th district: 86% of the state’s prison cells are located in disproportionately white house districts.