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

Sunflower County, Mississippi

According to the 2000 Census, Sunflower County, Mississippi has a population of 34,369 people. Of those, 9,927 (29%) are White, 24,010 (70%) are Black, and 448 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 4,692 (or 14% of the 34,369 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 Sunflower County a population of 29,677 with a demographic that is 30% White, 69% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 34,369 4,692 29,677
White 9,927 1,032 8,895
Black 24,010 3,628 20,382
Latino 448 25 423


[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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