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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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Rhode Island organizations testify in support of bill ending prison gerrymandering

Rhode Island Senate Committee on Judiciary heard testimony from the Rhode Island ACLU on S 147, a bill to end prison gerrymandering in the state.

by Aleks Kajstura, March 5, 2013

The Rhode Island Senate Committee on Judiciary considered the state Senate’s latest bill to end prison gerrymandering (S147) at a hearing on Tuesday.

Steve Brown of the Rhode Island ACLU testified and answered questions from the Senators. Brown explained why prison gerrymandering is especially dramatic in Rhode Island, testifying:

The need for remedying this problem in Rhode Island is heightened by our state’s special status. We believe we may be the only state with just one prison complex. This fact combines negatively with the fact that Rhode Island legislative districts are smaller by population than in most states.”

Nick Horton of Open Doors also testified in support of the legislation. And Peter Wager, our executive director, submitted testimony based on PPI’s research.

The House is also considering ending prison gerrymandering, with H5283 in the Judiciary Committee. More information about the bills and prison gerrymandering in Rhode Island is available through our Rhode Island campaign page.

[Update: House hearing on H5283 bill will be held next Tuesday evening, March 12, 2013.]

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