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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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A sample of the comment letters submitted in 2016 to the Census Bureau calling for an end to prison gerrymandering

This page reprints a sample of the comment letters submitted to the Census Bureau in support of ending prison gerrymandering. These letters were written in response to a Federal Register notice published in June 2016. The proposal includes plans to continue counting incarcerated people as "residents" of prison locations.

Almost 100,000 people including civil rights organizations, elected officials at all levels of government, former Directors of the Census Bureau and citizens from across the country weighed in to tell the Census Bureau that a prison is not a residence. The following is a sample of the organizations and individuals who explain in their own words why this practice is outdated, inaccurate, and undemocratic. For a sample of the letters submitted in 2015, see our FRN 2015 page.

If you submitted a comment letter to the Bureau and would like to see it posted here, please forward a copy to us at

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