by Peter Wagner, February 23, 2006
On Feb. 9, the Jackson City Patriot in Jackson Michigan published an editorial calling for the Census Bureau to change how it counts incarcerated people because it “is time to stop reporting a misleading census profile about prison communities.”
Counting Convicts: Do it here or there?
Editorial published in the Jackson City Patriot, February 9, 2006
For 216 years, the U.S. Census has been counting prison convicts by the “usual residence” rule. That is, they’re counted in the place they hang their hats, eat and sleep — that is, where they are incarcerated. At Congress’ directive, the Census Bureau is considering whether a change is in order. We welcome the review.
Why would anyone want prisoners counted in any other way than by the “usual residence” rule? Because the flaws of that policy are becoming apparent.
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