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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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Jackson County, Illinois

According to the 2000 Census, Jackson County, Illinois has a population of 59,612 people. Of those, 48,158 (81%) are White, 7,759 (12%) are Black, and 1,443 (2%) are Latino[1]. However, 308 (or 1% of the 59,612 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 Jackson County a population of 59,304 with a demographic that is 81% White, 13% Black, and 2% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 59,612 308 59,304
White 48,158 138 48,020
Black 7,759 169 7,590
Latino 1,443 13 1,430


[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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