Virginia has enacted legislation to end prison gerrymandering. It is one of more than a dozen states that counted incarcerated people at home for redistricting purposes in the 2020 redistricting cycle.

Virginia - Campaign Archive

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The U.S. Census Bureau counts incarcerated people where they are confined not where they are from. Using these counts to draw state and county legislative districts enhances the political clout of people who live near prisons at the expense of everyone else in the state or county.


Legislation for state districts

On April 22, 2020 HB 1255 (Del. Price), and SB 717 (Sen. McClellan), ending prison gerrymandering in state and congressional districts, were enacted after the Senate and House both concurred in the Governor's April 8, 2020 recommendations.

Legislation for local governments

Until 2013, some county and city governments had no choice but to include phantom residents in their districts simply because the Census tabulated incarcerated people as if they were residents of the prison location. In 2013 all cities and counties were finally given a choice to stop prison gerrymandering their own districts:


  • The Roanoke Times (editorial , January 5, 2012)
  • Unanimous resolution of the Board of Supervisors of Prince George County, Virginia, calling on the state to amend the state law that requires the county to use prison populations when redistricting to detriment of county democracy, November 23, 2010

Testimony and Letters

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