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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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Southampton County, Virginia

According to the 2000 Census, Southampton County, Virginia has a population of 17,482 people. Of those, 9,783 (53%) are White, 7,495 (41%) are Black, and 115 (676%) are Latino[1]. However, 1,478 (or 8% of the 17,482 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 Southampton County a population of 16,004 with a demographic that is 58% White, 41% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 17,482 1,478 16,004
White 9,783 459 9,324
Black 7,495 1,005 6,490
Latino 115 9 106


[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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