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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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Burlington County, New Jersey

According to the 2000 Census, Burlington County, New Jersey has a population of 423,394 people. Of those, 331,898 (78%) are White, 64,071 (15%) are Black, and 17,632 (4%) are Latino[1]. However, 8,678 (or 2% of the 423,394 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 Burlington County a population of 414,716 with a demographic that is 79% White, 14% Black, and 4% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 423,394 8,678 414,716
White 331,898 3,341 328,557
Black 64,071 4,440 59,631
Latino 17,632 2,185 15,447


[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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