April 4, 2020         
Planet 13 to Provide 2,000 Free Meals to Clark County Seniors in Need   •   IGN To Deliver Global Online Summer of Gaming Event   •   MC Residential Communities Ranks 13th Best Company To Work Multifamily® For Women In The Nation   •   Scott® Brand Teams Up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to Provide Childcare for Families of Essential Workers   •   Publix Pharmacy Expands Hours   •   Sallie Mae’s Donna Vieira Named One of ‘Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America’ by Savoy Magaz   •   Bright Hope Booklet Available: COVID-19 & the Extreme Poor: Why the Poor May Be Hit the Hardest   •   Local Nonprofit Receives Federal Grant for CA Newborn Hearing Screening Program   •   Fenway Health Commends FDA for New Blood Donation Guidance Amid COVID-19 Health Emergency   •   National Bank Announces New Support Measures and a Special Approach for Seniors   •   Church Mutual® Recognized as a National Leader in Advancing Women and Diversity   •   Colgate Supports the World Health Organization (WHO) #SafeHands Effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19   •   Wizards of the Coast Brings the King of the Monsters to Magic: The Gathering with Godzilla Series Monsters   •   RHP Properties Announces Matching Donations To No Kid Hungry In Support Of Coronavirus Relief And Recovery Efforts   •   Carvana to Webcast 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders   •   MEDIA ALERT: ESSENCE & The U.S. Black Chambers Join to Provide Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses With Information on COVID-   •   AEO Takes Steps to Ensure Financial Strength in Response to COVID-19   •   Vincent Development Receives Approval for Summers Ridge Senior Living in Prior Lake, MN   •   Cheeriodicals Continues to Deliver Cheer to Hospitalized Children and Veterans   •   FiftyFlowers Donates Flowers to a Local Senior Facility and Local Hospital
Bookmark and Share

New Report Calls For Elimination Of 'Prison-Based Gerrymandering'

Posted by Antoine Morris, civilrights.org

The explosion of the prison population in recent decades is enabling towns where the prisons are located to unjustly increase their political power by counting inmates as legal residents, according to "Captive Constituents," a new report by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF).

In the state of New York, for example, 43,000 prisoners, or two-thirds of the state penitentiary system, come from New York City. Of that number, about 91 percent are incarcerated in rural and less populated areas of the state and were counted as residents there as opposed to their pre-arrest address. Without the prison population, seven of the state Senate districts from the 2000 redistricting cycle would fall short of the minimum number of people needed to properly constitute a district.

"This practice is known as 'prison-based gerrymandering,' and it distorts our democratic process by artificially inflating the population count – and thus, the political influence – of the districts where prisons and jails are located," says LDF Director-Counsel John Payton.  "Everyone should care about this anti-democratic phenomenon because it distorts our political system."

LDF notes that with African Americans representing 41.3 percent of the federal and state prison population, the practice of towns counting inmates echoes the infamous compromise that counted black slaves as three-fifths of a person in apportioning districts while denying them the right to vote.  The compromise was later repudiated with the ratification of the14th Amendment in the wake of the Civil War.  

"Prison-based gerrymandering," the report says, also violates the Constitutional "one person, one vote" requirement that legislative districts have to be roughly equal in size to ensure voters have an equitable share of power.

The report recommends that in the future the Census Bureau counts prisoners as members of their home communities or at their pre-arrest address rather than their current place of incarceration.  In the meantime, LDF advocates for states and localities to take advantage of forthcoming data to be published on group quarters counts, including correctional facilities, for each Census block in the nation, which will be available prior to next round of redistricting.

Read the full report.



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
Breaking News
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News