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

How much money is New York City going to gain from new law counting prisoners at home?

None. The new law applies to state and local redistricting, not funding.

by Peter Wagner, August 18, 2010

The grand total is $0, yes that says “zero.” New York’s new law ending prison-based gerrymandering won’t affect funding.

New York is not changing the way the U.S. Census counts people in prison, rather, it is adjusting the way that data is used in redistricting to comply with the New York Constitution. No federal or state funding formulas will be affected by the decision of a state to adjust their redistricting data because no federal or state funding formula is based on state redistricting data.

Even if the Census Bureau were to, in the future, count incarcerated people at their home addresses, we’ve long explained that virtually every federal and state funding formula is too smart to be fooled by prison populations. Despite assumptions to the contrary, there is very little impact from the prison miscount on funding in general.

If money is not at stake, why did 3 states pledge to count incarcerated people at home for redistricting purposes? Because those states want to ensure that legislative districts are drawn fairly, and that no district gets undue influence just because it contains a large correctional facility.

That is reason enough.

2 Responses

  1. […] be allocated to their home communities for state and local redistricting and reapportionment, but does not affect funding distributions. This tracks with the New York State Constitution’s explicit provision that incarceration does […]

  2. […] be allocated to their home communities for state and local redistricting and reapportionment but does not affect funding distributions. This tracks with the New York State Constitution’s explicit provision that incarceration does […]



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