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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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Russell County, Virginia

According to the 2000 Census, Russell County, Virginia has a population of 30,308 people. Of those, 29,118 (97%) are White, 934 (3%) are Black, and 237 (790%) are Latino[1]. However, 1,217 (or 4% of the 30,308 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 Russell County a population of 29,091 with a demographic that is 99% White, 1% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 30,308 1,217 29,091
White 29,118 448 28,670
Black 934 721 213
Latino 237 67 170


[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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