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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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DeKalb County, Missouri

According to the 2000 Census, DeKalb County, Missouri has a population of 11,597 people. Of those, 10,332 (91%) are White, 1,028 (9%) are Black, and 125 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 2,629 (or 23% of the 11,597 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 DeKalb County a population of 8,968 with a demographic that is 98% White, 1% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 11,597 2,629 8,968
White 10,332 1,574 8,758
Black 1,028 979 49
Latino 125 55 70


[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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