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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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Washington County, Maryland

According to the 2000 Census, Washington County, Maryland has a population of 131,923 people. Of those, 118,348 (90%) are White, 10,247 (8%) are Black, and 1,570 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 7,271 (or 6% of the 131,923 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 Washington County a population of 124,652 with a demographic that is 93% White, 4% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 131,923 7,271 124,652
White 118,348 2,061 116,287
Black 10,247 5,199 5,048
Latino 1,570 29 1,541


[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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  • November 29, 2017:
    Legal Director Aleks Kajstura will be in DC speaking at the congressional Democratic Women’s Working Group dinner about women’s mass incarceration.

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