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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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Houston County, Texas

According to the 2000 Census, Houston County, Texas has a population of 23,185 people. Of those, 15,899 (65%) are White, 6,476 (26%) are Black, and 1,739 (4%) are Latino[1]. However, 2,438 (or 11% of the 23,185 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 Houston County a population of 20,747 with a demographic that is 71% White, 26% Black, and 6% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 23,185 2,438 20,747
White 15,899 1,249 14,650
Black 6,476 1,182 5,294
Latino 1,739 521 1,218


[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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