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

Putnam County, Indiana

According to the 2000 Census, Putnam County, Indiana has a population of 36,019 people. Of those, 34,171 (95%) are White, 1,057 (3%) are Black, and 412 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 2,097 (or 6% of the 36,019 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 Putnam County a population of 33,922 with a demographic that is 97% White, 1% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 36,019 2,097 33,922
White 34,171 1,267 32,904
Black 1,057 707 350
Latino 412 91 321


[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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