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

Mille Lacs County, Minnesota

According to the 2000 Census, Mille Lacs County, Minnesota has a population of 22,330 people. Of those, 20,890 (94%) are White, 60 (0%) are Black, and 214 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 138 (or 1% of the 22,330 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 Mille Lacs County a population of 22,192 with a demographic that is 94% White, 0% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 22,330 138 22,192
White 20,890 99 20,791
Black 60 7 53
Latino 214 4 210


[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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