Stop Prison Gerrymandering
More and more voters are tuning in to the grim realities of gerrymandering and what it means to be muted by politicians drawing voting districts for themselves and their party.
Prison-based gerrymandering is another way in which people and their communities are disenfranchised and ill-served and it impacts all of us. This problem begins with the way data is accumulated by the Census Bureau. It then solidifies in the way states use this data to draw their districts; often adopting the policy of the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people where they are imprisoned as opposed to where they reside (where home is and often where they will ultimately be returning).
Why is this a problem?
It can become a problem when the majority of prisons are built in one area but the majority of those incarcerated reside in another area. Counting incarcerated individuals in the wrong place "results in a systematic transfer of population and political clout" from one region to another.
For more, read this excellent piece we shared on social media last week:
Without Representation: Prison-based Gerrymandering and Felony Disenfranchisement
Prison-based gerrymandering can have negative impacts on both districts and their communities - the districts housing the prisons and the districts where incarcerated individuals will ultimately be returning but not be counted in.
ACTION for 1/15/2019:
State and local governments can take action on their own to end prison gerrymandering. We don't have to wait for the Census Bureau to change where incarcerated people are counted.
There's a bill in the Texas House that aims to address this right now.
UPDATE! ***Please target your calls to the Chair and Vice Chair of the House Redistricting Committee to let them know we support HB 104 - An Act Relating to the inclusion of an incarcerated person in the population data used for redistricting according to the person's last residence before incarceration.***
(the previous alert called for contacting your rep but we’re specifically calling on the head of this committee to review HB 104 and the other redistricting related bills that have been filed this session!)
In our fight for fair maps let's continue the work to make democracy more equitable for Texans!
Thank you for joining our efforts! Help us spread the word by sharing this action!