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A Dilution of Democracy: Prison-Based Gerrymandering

by on Feb 09, 2010

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Every ten years, we conduct a national census that endeavors to make an accurate count of every single resident of the country. But in a distortion of this process, under current practice the Census ...

Every ten years, we conduct a national census that endeavors to make an accurate count of every single resident of the country. But in a distortion of this process, under current practice the Census Bureau counts incarcerated persons not in the community of their legal residence, but where they are imprisoned. Because census data are used to allocate congressional seats and seats in state and local legislatures, jurisdictions with large prisons and prison populations become eligible for greater representation in government on the backs of people who have no voting rights in the prison community and are not considered legal residents of the prison district for any other purpose. At the same time, the home communities of incarcerated persons--usually more urban areas--are shortchanged in terms of political power and representation.

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A Dilution of Democracy: Prison-Based Gerrymandering A Dilution of Democracy: Prison-Based Gerrymandering Document Transcript