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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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Dawson County, Texas

According to the 2000 Census, Dawson County, Texas has a population of 14,985 people. Of those, 10,859 (71%) are White, 1,297 (7%) are Black, and 7,222 (50%) are Latino[1]. However, 2,188 (or 15% of the 14,985 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 Dawson County a population of 12,797 with a demographic that is 76% White, 3% Black, and 49% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Incarcerated
population
Actual
population
Total 14,985 2,188 12,797
White 10,859 1,183 9,676
Black 1,297 860 437
Latino 7,222 920 6,302


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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