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

Johnson County, Iowa

According to the 2000 Census, Johnson County, Iowa has a population of 111,006 people. Of those, 100,051 (90%) are White, 3,223 (3%) are Black, and 2,781 (3%) are Latino[1]. However, 861 (or 1% of the 111,006 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 Johnson County a population of 110,145 with a demographic that is 90% White, 3% Black, and 3% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 111,006 861 110,145
White 100,051 763 99,288
Black 3,223 61 3,162
Latino 2,781 29 2,752


[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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