New Legislator Resource: Ending Prison Gerrymandering
State legislators have a crucial role in advancing accurate and equitable redistricting. That means ending prison gerrymandering: the harmful practice of counting incarcerated people as residents of prison districts instead of at home.
Our brief includes messaging guidance, policy design considerations, practical lessons on bill drafting, coalitions, and implementation, and sample legislation.
Why take on prison gerrymandering? Because the 2020 Census is about to count more than 2 million people in the wrong place. Counting incarcerated people at home is a crucial correction that will make redistricting in your state more accurate and equitable.
Shout out to Colorado legislators, Reps. Kerry Tipper and James Coleman, whose bill to end prison gerrymandering is currently on the Governor’s desk! Check out their op-ed on why this reform matters for the state. Legislators in eleven other states have also filed prison gerrymandering bills this session (CT, FL, IL, LA, MI, MN, NE, PA, RI, VA, WI). If you’ve already sponsored a bill, review our resource to see how your proposal could be strengthened and how to talk about this issue effectively. And reach out to SiX and Prison Policy Initiative for support!
Many thanks to Prison Policy Initiative for their partnership and support to state legislators ending prison gerrymandering across the country!