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

Madera County, California

According to the 2000 Census, Madera County, California has a population of 123,109 people. Of those, 76,612 (62%) are White, 5,072 (4%) are Black, and 54,515 (44%) are Latino[1]. However, 7,084 (or 6% of the 123,109 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 Madera County a population of 116,025 with a demographic that is 64% White, 3% Black, and 45% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 123,109 7,084 116,025
White 76,612 2,807 73,805
Black 5,072 2,135 2,937
Latino 54,515 1,983 52,532


[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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