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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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Johnson County, Tennessee

According to the 2000 Census, Johnson County, Tennessee has a population of 17,499 people. Of those, 16,869 (94%) are White, 424 (2%) are Black, and 150 (882%) are Latino[1]. However, 1,345 (or 8% of the 17,499 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 Johnson County a population of 16,154 with a demographic that is 98% White, 0% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Incarcerated
population
Actual
population
Total 17,499 1,345 16,154
White 16,869 977 15,892
Black 424 356 68
Latino 150 11 139


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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