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Prison Gerrymandering Project

Accession Number: 027438
Media Type: 
Web Page

This is an excellent resource for getting up-to-date on this issue threatening the democratic process. “The way the Census Bureau counts people in prison creates significant problems for democracy and for our nation’s future. It leads to a dramatic distortion of representation at local and state levels, and creates an inaccurate picture of community populations for research and planning purposes. Some state legislative districts draw large portions of their political clout, not from actual residents, but from the presence of a large prison in the district. The districts with large prisons get to send a representative to the state capital to advocate for their interests without meeting the required number of residents … When districts with prisons receive enhanced representation, every other district in the state without a prison sees its votes diluted. And this vote dilution is even larger in the districts with the highest incarceration rates. Thus, the communities that bear the most direct costs of crime are therefore the communities that are the biggest victims of prison-based gerrymandering. The Census Bureau’s decision to count incarcerated people in the wrong place interferes with equal representation in virtually every state.” This website addresses this issue and offers solutions to deal with this democratic distortion. Points of entry include an explanation of the problem, the solutions, how to take action to combat this problem, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ), blog, latest news, campaign pages, legislation, local governments addressing the issue, video overview, journal articles, and reports.

Prison Gerrymandering Project Cover

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