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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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Providence County, Rhode Island

According to the 2000 Census, Providence County, Rhode Island has a population of 621,602 people. Of those, 487,235 (78%) are White, 40,685 (6%) are Black, and 83,232 (13%) are Latino[1]. However, 3,576 (or 1% of the 621,602 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 Providence County a population of 618,026 with a demographic that is 79% White, 6% Black, and 13% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 621,602 3,576 618,026
White 487,235 1,942 485,293
Black 40,685 1,283 39,402
Latino 83,232 742 82,490


[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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