Help End Prison Gerrymandering Prison gerrymandering funnels political power away from urban communities to legislators who have prisons in their (often white, rural) districts. More than a decade ago, the Prison Policy Initiative put numbers on the problem and sparked the movement to end prison gerrymandering.

Can you help us continue the fight? Thank you.

—Peter Wagner, Executive Director
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50-state guide to “Fixing prison-based gerrymandering after the 2010 Census”

New 50 state guide released: How the Census Bureau's prison miscount harms democracy, with info on prison residence law and the status of reform efforts.

by Peter Wagner, March 22, 2010

The 2010 Census will be counting more than 2 million incarcerated people in the wrong place. The laws of most states say that a prison cell is a not a residence, but the Census Bureau assigns incarcerated people to the prison location, not their home addresses. When state and local governments use this data to draw legislative districts, they unconstitutionally enhance the weight of a vote cast in districts that contain prisons and dilute those votes cast in every other district.

Our new 50 state guide, Fixing prison-based gerrymandering after the 2010 Census, introduces the problem, the solutions, and provides state-by-state information on how the prison miscount harms state and local democracy, how each state defines residence for incarcerated people, and the status of reform efforts.



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