Census Report: States request help with prison gerrymandering
by Aleks Kajstura, December 22, 2014
The Census Bureau just released this decade’s “view from the states” report. Officially titled Designing P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data for the Year 2020 Census, the report analyzes how well the Census Bureau’s 2010 redistricting data release served the states, and what changes should be considered for the 2020 Census.
The report conveyed states’ desires to avoid prison gerrymandering and reiterated the Bureau’s commitment to addressing the issue:
…[T]he Census Bureau will get the opportunity to research the feasibility and accuracy of reallocating prison populations to their former residence, following the selection of 2020 Census design.
The Bureau also reiterated the steps it had taken with the 2010 Census to to aid states that wanted to avoid or minimize prison gerrymandering, and spelled out states’ specific requests to continue progress with the 2020 Census:
States applauded the Census Bureau for developing
the Advanced Group Quarters File and making it available so quickly after the release of the 2010 Census (P.L. 94-171) Redistricting Data Summary Files. In the event that selected [group quarters] populations are not reallocated, states have requested the Census Bureau develop a product which will enable states with legislation to remove or reallocate those selected group quarters populations such as military, student, and prisoner populations. States that implemented the reallocation of prisoners have requested that group quarters characteristics be included in the 2020 Census (P.L. 94-171) Redistricting Data Summary File.