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

Wayne County, Tennessee

According to the 2000 Census, Wayne County, Tennessee has a population of 16,842 people. Of those, 15,482 (92%) are White, 1,145 (7%) are Black, and 142 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 1,921 (or 11% of the 16,842 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 Wayne County a population of 14,921 with a demographic that is 98% White, 1% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 16,842 1,921 14,921
White 15,482 879 14,603
Black 1,145 1,019 126
Latino 142 18 124


[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.

Stay Informed

Get the latest updates:

Tweet this page Donate Now hiring:
Digital Communications Strategist