I need your help.
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.

Can you help us continue the fight? Any gift you make will be matched by other donors and will go twice as far. Thank you.

—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Davidson v. City of Cranston documents

map of Cranston city council districts and the prison and resident populations

The District Court ruled the city's prison gerrymandering unconstitutional, reasoning that the city could not count incarcerated people in city council districts as if they were city residents while not treating them as constituents when it came time to represent them. But the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, allowing the City to continue using the Census' unadjusted redistricting data despite the prison miscount.

Plaintiffs and Counsel

The plaintiffs were four Cranston voters who lived outside of Ward 6, and the ACLU of Rhode Island. The Prison Policy Initiative, ACLU Voting Rights Project, Dēmos, and Lynette Labinger of Roney & Labinger LLP were counsel to the plaintiffs.

Press releases, news coverage & editorials

Legal documents and related materials

United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island

Appeal: United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

  • Briefs
    • Plaintiff's Brief, July 26, 2016
    • City's Reply Brief, August 2, 2016
    • Briefs of Amici Curiae, September 2, 2016:
      • Brief of Former Directors of the U.S. Census Bureau
      • Brief of The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, and Voice of the Ex-Offender

Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Donate

Stay Informed

Get the latest updates by signing up for our newsletters:

And our specialty lists:


Nothing scheduled right now. Invite us to to your city, college or organization.