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

Spink County, South Dakota

According to the 2000 Census, Spink County, South Dakota has a population of 7,454 people. Of those, 7,272 (98%) are White, 16 (0%) are Black, and 29 (0%) are Latino[1]. However, 188 (or 3% of the 7,454 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 Spink County a population of 7,266 with a demographic that is 98% White, 0% Black, and 0% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 7,454 188 7,266
White 7,272 146 7,126
Black 16 5 11
Latino 29 4 25


[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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