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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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Vernon Parish, Louisiana

According to the 2000 Census, Vernon Parish, Louisiana has a population of 52,531 people. Of those, 38,717 (73%) are White, 8,962 (15%) are Black, and 3,111 (6%) are Latino[1]. However, 277 (or 1% of the 52,531 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 Vernon Parish a population of 52,254 with a demographic that is 74% White, 17% Black, and 6% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 52,531 277 52,254
White 38,717 140 38,577
Black 8,962 137 8,825
Latino 3,111 4 3,107


[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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