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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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Winston County, Mississippi

According to the 2000 Census, Winston County, Mississippi has a population of 20,160 people. Of those, 11,141 (55%) are White, 8,719 (40%) are Black, and 243 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 290 (or 1% of the 20,160 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 Winston County a population of 19,870 with a demographic that is 56% White, 43% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 20,160 290 19,870
White 11,141 51 11,090
Black 8,719 237 8,482
Latino 243 3 240


[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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