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

Karnes County, Texas

According to the 2000 Census, Karnes County, Texas has a population of 15,446 people. Of those, 10,588 (69%) are White, 1,667 (11%) are Black, and 7,324 (47%) are Latino[1]. However, 3,358 (or 22% of the 15,446 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 Karnes County a population of 12,088 with a demographic that is 79% White, 2% Black, and 50% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 15,446 3,358 12,088
White 10,588 1,092 9,496
Black 1,667 1,377 290
Latino 7,324 1,338 5,986


[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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