About this website

PrisonersoftheCensus.org is a special project of the Prison Policy Initiative to quantify, publicize, and reform the current practice of utilizing the Census to shift political power away from poor and minority communities and into the hands of prison expansion proponents. The website will serve as a repository for research and advocacy on the impact on our economy, society and democracy from miscounting the incarcerated.

The principal author of this website is Peter Wagner, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative in Northampton, Massachusetts. Peter is the author of Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in New York (April, 2002), the first systematic state analysis of the impact of prisoner enumeration policies on legislative redistricting. You can read more about Peter and the project in this Boston Globe profile.

Rose Heyer developed the Geographic Information Systems research strategy for the project and made many of the maps on the website.

The creation of this website was supported by a 2003-2005 grant from the Soros Justice Fellowship Program of the Open Society Institute.

For more information about this project, please contact:

Peter Wagner
Prisoners of the Census
Prison Policy Initiative
PO Box 127
Northampton MA 01061

Suggested citation for this website:

Wagner, Peter. ([year page was written, if known]) [Title bar contents]. Prison Policy Initiative, Available: <http://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/>, ([access date]).

Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Get our newsletter Donate


  • May 15, 2018:
    Our Policy Analyst Lucius Couloute will be at the LEDA Summit on Race and Inclusion in Holland, Michigan, presenting his research on the challenges and disadvantages people face when they are released from prison. Tickets are available on LEDA’s website.

Not near you?
Invite us to your city, college or organization.