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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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Bowie County, Texas

According to the 2000 Census, Bowie County, Texas has a population of 89,306 people. Of those, 65,424 (73%) are White, 20,913 (22%) are Black, and 3,992 (3%) are Latino[1]. However, 5,493 (or 6% of the 89,306 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 Bowie County a population of 83,813 with a demographic that is 74% White, 22% Black, and 3% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 89,306 5,493 83,813
White 65,424 3,199 62,225
Black 20,913 2,174 18,739
Latino 3,992 1,827 2,165


[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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