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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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Kern County, California

According to the 2000 Census, Kern County, California has a population of 661,645 people. Of those, 407,581 (62%) are White, 39,798 (6%) are Black, and 254,036 (38%) are Latino[1]. However, 23,800 (or 4% of the 661,645 people) are not residents by choice but are people in prison.

Even though prisoners cannot participate in the local community, the Census Bureau nevertheless counts them as residents of the county where they are incarcerated.

A more accurate description would not include the prisoners. This would give Kern County a population of 637,845 with a demographic that is 63% White, 5% Black, and 38% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 661,645 23,800 637,845
White 407,581 8,357 399,224
Black 39,798 6,133 33,665
Latino 254,036 9,146 244,890


[1]The numbers for Whites, Blacks and Latinos may not add up to the total number because we have not included racial groups other than Whites and Blacks and because the Census Bureau considers "Latino" to be an ethnicity, not a race. Most of the people reported as being Latino are also counted as being White or Black.

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