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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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Chippewa County, Michigan

According to the 2000 Census, Chippewa County, Michigan has a population of 38,543 people. Of those, 29,247 (76%) are White, 2,127 (5%) are Black, and 599 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 4,804 (or 12% of the 38,543 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 Chippewa County a population of 33,739 with a demographic that is 80% White, 0% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Incarcerated
population
Actual
population
Total 38,543 4,804 33,739
White 29,247 2,260 26,987
Black 2,127 2,020 107
Latino 599 241 358


Notes:

[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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