Getting started

The Prison Policy Initiative organized this website to be the starting point for anyone interested in learning more about the problem of prison gerrymandering.

We've generated dozens of state-by-state and district-by-district reports, hundreds of articles and fact sheets organized on state pages and in the blog. This page gives access to the same content and tools organized by topic and need.

What's your goal?

Learn the basics:

Get involved:

  • States with active campaigns against prison gerrymandering are listed on our take action page. Each state has a frequently-updated list of resources about the problem and organizing in that state.
  • Legislation page with active legislation, and past legislative efforts.
  • Model legislation for states and counties.
  • Resolutions page for non-binding organizational and legislative statements.

Use data and tools for demographers, redistricting professionals & advocates:

  • Locator (2010) (annotations and correctional facility counts by Census block, searchable by county) (A version for 2020 will be available shortly after each state’s data is released in Jan – March 2021.)
  • Map files (shapefiles and kml) (a national point shapefile with the group quarters – including correctional facilities – populations, and Google Earth files that allow you to view the information available in our Correctional Facility Locator through Google Earth)
  • The Racial Geography of Mass Incarceration (Report analyzing the degree to which, in the 2010 Census, incarcerated people differ by race and ethnicity from the county they are incarcerated in.) See also Too Big to Ignore (report analyzing how the U.S. Census practice of tabulating incarcerated people as residents of the prison county in 2000 distorted statistics for county populations)
  • Facility types (a primer explaining the differences between correctional facility types to consider when redistricting)
  • Democracy Toolkit (training on using our research tools and how to analyze the impact of prison gerrymandering on local governments)

Find data on your state, county or municipality

  • Check out our 50 state report (a state-by-state compilation of local and state prison gerrymandering issues)
  • Find mentions of your state, county or municipality in our blog, in a fact sheet, or elsewhere on our sites:

Find detailed information on a specific issue:

Learn more about the strategy:

  • General
    • Podcasts with interviews with leaders of the fight to end prison gerrymandering
  • Talking about funding
    • Background explanation of how funding formulas are unaffected by redistricting data

Share information with others (information that serves as an introduction and is formatted for easy redistribution)

Find material for redistribution as an introduction to the issue

Litigation materials:

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