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Prison gerrymandering gives extra political power to legislators who have prisons in their districts. We put numbers on the problem and sparked a movement to protect our democratic process from the overgrown prison system.

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Monterey County, California

According to the 2000 Census, Monterey County, California has a population of 401,762 people. Of those, 224,682 (56%) are White, 15,050 (4%) are Black, and 187,969 (47%) are Latino[1]. However, 12,221 (or 3% of the 401,762 people) are not residents by choice but are people in prison.

Even though prisoners cannot participate in the local community, the Census Bureau nevertheless counts them as residents of the county where they are incarcerated.

A more accurate description would not include the prisoners. This would give Monterey County a population of 389,541 with a demographic that is 57% White, 3% Black, and 47% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 401,762 12,221 389,541
White 224,682 3,259 221,423
Black 15,050 3,627 11,423
Latino 187,969 4,695 183,274


[1]The numbers for Whites, Blacks and Latinos may not add up to the total number because we have not included racial groups other than Whites and Blacks and because the Census Bureau considers "Latino" to be an ethnicity, not a race. Most of the people reported as being Latino are also counted as being White or Black.

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