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Prison Gerrymandering Undermines Our Democracy

Counting people where they are incarcerated during redistricting distorts our system of representative government.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released 2020 redis­trict­ing popu­la­tion data, setting off the redraw­ing of congres­sional, state, and local elect­oral maps around the coun­try. When report­ing this data, the Census Bureau gener­ally locates people where it deems them to “live and sleep most of the time.” foot­note1_tc5t0on 1 Final 2020 Census Resid­ence Criteria and Resid­ence Situ­ations, 83 Fed. Reg. 5525 (Feb. 8, 2018) (to be codi­fied at 15 C.F.R. ch. 1), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018–02–08/pdf/2018–02370.pdf. For people in prison, this means the site of their incar­cer­a­tion rather than their home communit­ies, even though in most cases they have no mean­ing­ful connec­tion to that area. foot­note2_pp5jarf 2 In this way, the rela­tion­ship between incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als and communit­ies contain­ing prison facil­it­ies is not analog­ous to that of college students or members of the armed forces, who inter­act with the communit­ies they tempor­ar­ily find them­selves in. The policy wrongly suggests that people in prison are “at home” where they are incar­cer­ated, ignor­ing that most stays in prison are far shorter than the decade for which the maps will be in effect foot­note3_zgm7jec 3 See Dani­elle Kaeble, “Time Served in State Prison, 2016,” Bureau of Justice Stat­ist­ics, Novem­ber 29, 2018, https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbde­tail&iid=6446. and that many states consider incar­cer­ated people legally resid­ent in their home communit­ies for purposes other than redis­trict­ing. foot­note4_hwruoko 4 Alaa Chaker, “Prison Malap­por­tion­ment: Forging a New Path for State Courts,” Yale Law Journal 130 (March 2021): 1274–75, https://www.yalelaw­journal.org/comment/prison-malap­por­tion­ment-forging-a-new-path-for-state-courts. Alaska, Arizona, Cali­for­nia, Color­ado, Connecti­cut, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missis­sippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hamp­shire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wash­ing­ton, and Wyom­ing all have state stat­utes or consti­tu­tional provi­sions that expressly state that a person does not gain or lose resid­ence by reason of incar­cer­a­tion at a prison or insti­tu­tion. Id. at note 131.  

While some states real­loc­ate incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als to their home communit­ies when making maps, most do not. When states draw districts without real­loc­at­ing people who are incar­cer­ated, they ignore the real­ity of the rela­tion­ship between these indi­vidu­als and the areas where pris­ons are located. Lawmakers who repres­ent those areas often do not feel the same respons­ib­il­ity toward people in prison that they do for their other constitu­ents and gener­ally do not inquire about their welfare or repres­ent their interests. foot­note5_eow53el 5 See Sam Roberts, “Census Bureau’s Count­ing of Pris­on­ers Bene­fits Some Rural Voting Districts,” New York Times, Octo­ber 23, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/us/polit­ics/24census.html. Incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als have much more mean­ing­ful connec­tions to their home communit­ies and the lawmakers who repres­ent those areas, some of whom even perform constitu­ent services on their behalf. foot­note6_1f2×23m 6 See Jonathan Lai, “How ‘Prison Gerry­man­der­ing’ Shifts Polit­ical Power from Urban Pennsylvani­ans of Color to White, Rural Ones,” Phil­adelphia Inquirer, July 11, 2019, https://www.inquirer.com/polit­ics/pennsylvania/prison-gerry­man­der­ing-pa-2021-redis­trict­ing-census-20190725.html; and Jonathan Tilove, “Pris­on­ers Can’t Vote, but They Can Subtly Shift Polit­ical Power,” Austin Amer­ican-States­man, updated Septem­ber 25, 2018, https://www.states­man.com/article/20131201/NEWS/312019821. But those areas see their repres­ent­a­tion in legis­lat­ive bodies diluted, while areas with pris­ons receive more than their fair share. This prac­tice is known as prison gerry­man­der­ing, and it turns inequit­ies in our crim­inal justice system into repres­ent­a­tional inequit­ies.

Prison gerry­man­der­ing under­mines our demo­cracy in several key ways:

  1. It presents a distor­ted snap­shot of the general popu­la­tion and misrep­res­ents incar­cer­ated peoples’ rela­tion­ship to their repres­ent­at­ives. Incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als gener­ally have few connec­tions to the areas hous­ing prison facil­it­ies, which are often far from their home communit­ies and demo­graph­ic­ally very differ­ent from them. foot­note7_zsrbi05 7 In the state of New York, “70% of all state inmates are placed in pris­ons 100 miles or more away from their homes, and 58% of all pris­on­ers from New York City are incar­cer­ated in pris­ons 200 miles or more from their homes.” Elana Confino-Pinzon, “Locked Up Far Away From Home: The Prob­lem of Distance in New York State Pris­ons,” Brown Polit­ical Review, March 30, 2019, https://brown­polit­ic­alre­view.org/2019/03/locked-far-away-home-prob­lem-distance-new-york-state-pris­ons. Most people in prison at the time the census is taken will be released within three years, and exceed­ingly few remain near the prison upon release, yet they will be coun­ted toward that region’s repres­ent­a­tion for the full decade that the maps are in effect. foot­note8_x9j97p9 8 See, e.g., Kaeble, “Time Served in State Prison, 2016” (76.8 percent of all incar­cer­ated people and 56.7 percent of those serving time for viol­ent offenses spend less than three years in prison); and Timothy Hughes and Doris James Wilson, “Reentry Trends in the United States: Inmates Return­ing to the Community After Serving Time in Prison,” Bureau of Justice Stat­ist­ics, April 14, 2004, https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/reentry.pdf (95 percent of incar­cer­ated people will be released at some point). Evid­ence from legis­lat­ors and legis­lat­ive staffers suggests that the lawmakers who repres­ent these districts do not always consider incar­cer­ated people to be “real constitu­ents” and are often indif­fer­ent to their interests. foot­note9_lm1yno9 9 See, e.g., Roberts, “Census Bureau’s Count­ing of Pris­on­ers Bene­fits Some Rural Voting Districts” (quot­ing an Iowa state repres­ent­at­ive as saying “not really” when asked whether he considered incar­cer­ated people to be resid­ents); and Todd A. Breit­bart to Karen Humes, July 18, 2015, Comment on the 2020 Decen­nial Census Resid­ence Rule and Resid­ence Situ­ations Docket No. 150409353–5353–01, at 2, http://www.pris­on­er­softhecensus.org/letters/Todd_Breit­bart_comment_letter.pdf (legis­lat­ors “do not offer the pris­on­ers the ‘con­stitu­ent services’ that they provide to perman­ent resid­ents of their districts”). See also Justin Levitt, July 20, 2015, Comment on Census Resid­ence Rule and Resid­ence Situ­ations: People in Correc­tional Facil­it­ies, at 4, https://redis­trict­ing.lls.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015-census-resid­ence-comment.pdf; and Sher­rilyn Ifill to Karen Humes, Septem­ber 1, 2016, June 30, 2016 Federal Register notice regard­ing the Resid­ence Rule and Resid­ence Situ­ations, 81 FR 42577, at 4 , https://www.naacpldf.org/wp-content/uploads/NAACP-LDF-Letter-to-Chief-Humes-of-the-Census-Bureau_0–1.pdf. When incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als do receive constitu­ent services, they are often provided by repres­ent­at­ives from their home communit­ies, as legis­lat­ors from Phil­adelphia and Hous­ton have attested. foot­note10_i8zu­ab2 10 Lai, “How ‘Prison Gerry­man­der­ing’ Shifts Polit­ical Power” (quot­ing Pennsylvania State Rep. Joanna McClin­ton (D-Phil­adelphia): “We liter­ally are still doing constitu­ent services for them, but still they are not coun­ted as in our districts.”); and Tilove, “Pris­on­ers Can’t Vote” (noting that Texas State Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Hous­ton) had a staffer dedic­ated to constitu­ent requests from inmates from his district incar­cer­ated else­where).
     
  2. Black and Latino communit­ies are deprived of repres­ent­a­tion. These communit­ies of color are incar­cer­ated at dispro­por­tion­ate rates nation­wide. In 2019, 56 percent of the United States’ prison popu­la­tion was Black or Latino, despite these groups making up only 32 percent of the over­all popu­la­tion. foot­note11_kebprr8 11 E. Ann Carson, “Pris­on­ers in 2019,” Bureau of Justice Stat­ist­ics, Octo­ber 2020, table 3, https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/p19.pdf. Prison gerry­man­der­ing turns dispar­it­ies in incar­cer­a­tion into dispar­it­ies in repres­ent­a­tion; elect­oral maps do not reflect the true size of the largely Black and Latino urban communit­ies. foot­note12_2rjo271 12 Brianna Remster and Rory Kramer, “Shift­ing Power: The Impact of Incar­cer­a­tion on Polit­ical Repres­ent­a­tion,” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 15, no. 2 (2018): 417–39, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742058X18000206 (find­ing that if Pennsylvania ended prison gerry­man­der­ing, over 100,00 Black Phil­adelphi­ans would live in over­pop­u­lated districts, while three out of the four over­pop­u­lated districts would be major­ity-minor­ity); Ross Ramsey, “Play­ing the Inmate Card Skews Redis­trict­ing,” Texas Tribune, Septem­ber 29, 2011, https://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/us/for-redis­trict­ing-texas-counts-pris­on­ers-where-they-sleep.html (report­ing that Harris County, which includes Hous­ton, would be entitled to an addi­tional legis­lat­ive district if incar­cer­ated people were coun­ted at their home addresses). For example, accord­ing to the Texas Civil Rights Project, Harris County (contain­ing the city of Hous­ton) and Dallas County would likely have received an addi­tional state house seat each if incar­cer­ated people were coun­ted at their homes. foot­note13_dzjxz4q 13 Joaquin Gonza­lez et al., Prison Gerry­man­der­ing Report 2021, Texas Civil Rights Project, 2021, https://txcivil­rights.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Prison_Gerry­man­der­ing_Report.pdf (describ­ing how prison gerry­man­der­ing resul­ted in Harris County losing one seat in the Texas House of Repres­ent­at­ives); and Sanya Mansoor and Madeleine Carl­isle, “How Prison Gerry­man­der­ing Distorts Polit­ical Repres­ent­a­tion,” Time, July 1, 2021, https://time.com/6077245/prison-gerry­man­der­ing-polit­ical-repres­ent­a­tion (citing Joaquin Gonza­lez: “Both Harris County (home to Hous­ton) and Dallas County would also likely have at least one extra state House seat if they coun­ted incar­cer­ated people at home.”). While these inequit­ies have long exis­ted, they have become magni­fied with the rise of mass incar­cer­a­tion start­ing in the 1970s. foot­note14_7zzh­cz7 14 See James Cullen, “The History of Mass Incar­cer­a­tion,” Bren­nan Center for Justice, July 20, 2018, https://www.bren­nan­cen­ter.org/our-work/analysis-opin­ion/history-mass-incar­cer­a­tion.
     
  3. The largely rural, white communit­ies where pris­ons are located receive a repres­ent­a­tion wind­fall. In most states, prison facil­it­ies are located in rural areas with predom­in­antly white popu­la­tions. foot­note15_7osb­nhu 15 See, e.g., Peter Wagner, “Break­ing the Census: Redis­trict­ing in an Era of Mass Incar­cer­a­tion,” William Mitchell Law Review 38, no. 4 (2012): 1244, https://open.mitchell­ham­line.edu/wmlr/vol38/iss4/9/ (noting that “[v]irtu­ally all — 98% — of New York state’s prison cells were located in state senate districts that are dispro­por­tion­ately White”). Because the law requires districts to be roughly equal in popu­la­tion size, without the incar­cer­ated popu­la­tion many of these districts would have fewer people than legally required and would have to be expan­ded. foot­note16_5dnncpt 16 For example, research­ers at the Texas Civil Rights Project found that “if its prison popu­la­tion were removed, Texas House District 8, for example, would ‘lose’ 21,112 resid­ents, making it 12.59% smal­ler than the aver­age state house district.” Gonza­lez et al., Prison Gerry­man­der­ing Report 2021, 5. By count­ing incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als at pris­ons, states arti­fi­cially inflate these areas’ popu­la­tions, and thereby their polit­ical clout. The Prison Policy Initi­at­ive repor­ted that in Texas, for example, every 88 people in two districts with pris­ons received as much repres­ent­a­tion as every 100 people else­where in the state. foot­note17_e3f4yeq 17 “In two districts (District 13 near Walker County and District 8 near Ander­son County) almost 12% of each district’s 2000 Census popu­la­tion is incar­cer­ated. Effect­ively each group of 88 actual resid­ents in these two districts is given as much polit­ical clout as 100 people else­where in Texas.” Prison Gerry­man­der­ing Project, “Texas 2010 Census Guide,” Prison Policy Initi­at­ive, March 2010, https://www.pris­on­er­softhecensus.org/50states/TX.html. Prison gerry­man­der­ing not only skews repres­ent­a­tion away from the urban communit­ies from which incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als over­whelm­ingly come but also from rural communit­ies that do not host prison facil­it­ies. foot­note18_tius83n 18 “This relat­ive over-repres­ent­a­tion, occur­ring in a hand­ful of districts, not only distorts the balance of power between urban and rural counties, but also gives a few rural communit­ies greater repres­ent­a­tion in the legis­lature than the rest of rural Texas. In partic­u­lar, rural West Texas, which faces unique issues such as drought and access to health care, gets propor­tion­ally far less repres­ent­a­tion in legis­lat­ive districts than rural East Texas.” Gonza­lez et. al, Prison Gerry­man­der­ing Report 2021, 5.
     
  4. Prison gerry­man­der­ing compounds other forms of discrim­in­a­tion. The systemic under­rep­res­ent­a­tion of Black and Latino communit­ies in Congress and state legis­latures gives them less of a say in how resources are alloc­ated. In this way, prison gerry­man­der­ing exacer­bates harms caused by other forms of gerry­man­der­ing and abuses like vote suppres­sion, which also tend to target Black and Latino people and other communit­ies of color. foot­note19_7dxzkj1 19 See, e.g., Jonathan Brater, Kevin Morris, Myrna Pérez, and Chris­topher Deluzio, Purges: A Grow­ing Threat to the Right to Vote, Bren­nan Center for Justice, July 20, 2018 https://www.bren­nan­cen­ter.org/sites/default/files/2019–08/Report_Purges_Grow­ing_Threat.pdf (find­ing that racial minor­it­ies were more likely than white people to be incor­rectly purged by the Inter­state Voter Regis­tra­tion Crosscheck Program because of common surnames); and Keesha Gaskins and Sundeep Iyer, The Chal­lenge of Obtain­ing Voter Iden­ti­fic­a­tion, July 18, 2012, https://www.bren­nan­cen­ter.org/sites/default/files/2019–08/Report_Chal­lenge_of_Obtain­ing_Voter_ID.pdf (find­ing that racial minor­it­ies are less likely to have the types of iden­ti­fic­a­tion required by restrict­ive voter ID laws and that they face barri­ers in obtain­ing the proper ID).

Thank­fully, public support for ending prison gerry­man­der­ing is burgeon­ing. In 2016, the Census Bureau considered a change to its resid­ence rule that would have coun­ted incar­cer­ated persons in their home communit­ies. Although the bureau chose ulti­mately not to change the rule for the 2020 Census, it received an over­whelm­ing 77,863 comments support­ing the change. foot­note20_hggcfjc 20 Final 2020 Census Resid­ence Criteria and Resid­ence Situ­ations at 5527. And a grow­ing number of bills have been intro­duced in Congress that would mandate a change to how incar­cer­ated people are coun­ted.

Even if there is no change at the federal level, there is much work that can be done by the states. The Census Bureau offered a new data product this year that will help states alloc­ate incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als to their home communit­ies for this redis­trict­ing cycle. foot­note21_yd3o0uo 21 Samantha Osaki, Lalita Moskow­itz, and Mario O. Jime­nez, “New Census Bureau Data Offers a Chance to Dismantle Prison Gerry­man­der­ing,” ACLU, June 21, 2021, https://www.aclu.org/news/pris­on­ers-rights/new-census-bureau-data-offers-a-chance-to-dismantle-prison-gerry­man­der­ing/; and Final 2020 Census Resid­ence Criteria and Resid­ence Situ­ations. To date, 11 states have perman­ently changed their policies on where people who are incar­cer­ated will be coun­ted for purposes of redis­trict­ing. foot­note22_w6aonrq 22 Cali­for­nia, Color­ado, Connecti­cut, Delaware, Illinois, Mary­land, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Wash­ing­ton have ended prison gerry­man­der­ing. Ben Willi­ams, “Real­loc­at­ing Inmate Data for Redis­trict­ing,” National Confer­ence of State Legis­lat­ors, Septem­ber 22, 2021, https://www.ncsl.org/research/redis­trict­ing/real­loc­at­ing-incar­cer­ated-persons-for-redis­trict­ing.aspx. Addi­tion­ally, Pennsylvani­a’s redis­trict­ing commis­sion recently voted to do so for the current cycle. foot­note23_deohdqd 23 Mark Scolforo, “Assembly Map-Draw­ing Panel to Count Inmates in Home Towns,” Asso­ci­ated Press, August 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/pris­ons-redis­trict­ing-a353d8e­f6295b62e8d­d835a92f­b96a6e.

This map provides impris­on­ment rates for each state, in the major­ity of which prison gerry­man­der­ing remains the norm. The follow­ing table high­lights the twelve states that have passed reform, break­ing down the status of the reform in each state and provid­ing basic demo­graphic data of the prison popu­la­tion. foot­note24_pbyzpdo 24 “State-by-State Data,” The Senten­cing Project, 2019, https://www.senten­cing­pro­ject.org/the-facts/#map?data­set-option=SIR; “Total Number of People in Local Jails and State Pris­ons,” Vera Insti­tute of Justice, 2018, https://www.vera.org/public­a­tions/state-incar­cer­a­tion-trends; Ashley Nellis, “The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Dispar­ity in State Pris­ons,” The Senten­cing Project, 2021, https://www.senten­cing­pro­ject.org/public­a­tions/color-of-justice-racial-and-ethnic-dispar­ity-in-state-pris­ons/

End Notes

State Reforms to Count Incarcerated People in Their Home Districts

This table uses information from The Sentencing Project's "State-by-State Data" from 2019, the Vera Institute of Justice's "Total Number of People in County Jails and State Prisons, 2015" from 2018, and The Sentencing Project's "The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons" from 2021.

  • Alabama

    Alabama

  • Alaska

    Alaska

  • Arizona

    Arizona

  • Arkansas

    Arkansas

  • California

    California

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for both legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: Elec. Code § 21003
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 122,417
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 310 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021, 2018): Black Californians are 9.2 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Californians. Rural counties have higher incarceration rates than urban counties.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 15 percent of state population, 1 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 38 percent of state population, 44 percent of prison population
      • White: 39 percent of state population, 21 percent of prison population
      • Native American: 1 percent of state population, 1 percent of prison population
      • Black: 6 percent of state population, 28 percent of prison population
  • Colorado

    Colorado

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: Rev. Stat. § 2-2-902
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 19,785
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 341 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021, 2018): Black Coloradans are 6.7 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Coloradans. Native Americans in Colorado are 6.3 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Coloradans.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 4 percent of state population, 1 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 20 percent of state population, 31 percent of prison population
      • White: 71 percent of state population, 46 percent of prison population
      • Native American: 1 percent of state population, 3 percent of prison population
      • Black: 5 percent of state population, 18 percent of prison population
  • Connecticut

    Connecticut

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: Public Act No. 21-13
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 8,751
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 245 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black people are 9.6 times more likely to be incarcerated than white people in Connecticut.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 5 percent of state population, 1 percent of incarcerated population
      • Latino: 15 percent of state population, 25 percent of incarcerated population
      • White: 69 percent of state population, 33 percent of incarcerated population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state population, <1 percent of incarcerated population
      • Black: 11 percent of state population, 41 percent of incarcerated population
  • Delaware

    Delaware

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: 29 Del. Code tit. 29, § 804A
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 3,735
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 382 per 100,000 people
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black Delawareans are 5.1 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Delawareans.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 4 percent of state population, <1 percent of incarcerated population
      • Latino: <9 percent of state population, 4 percent of incarcerated population
      • White: 64 percent of state population, 40 percent of incarcerated population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state population, <1 percent of incarcerated population
      • Black: 23 percent of state population, 56 percent of incarcerated population*

    *Delaware only provides incarceration data for prisons and jails combined. Those numbers are reflected here.

  • District of Columbia

    District of Columbia

  • Florida

    Florida

  • Georgia

    Georgia

  • Hawaii

    Hawaii

  • Idaho

    Idaho

  • Illinois

    Illinois

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: Public Act 101-0652
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? No; process will not begin until 2025.
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 38,259
    • Incarceration rate (2018): 302 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black people are nearly 7.5 times more likely to be incarcerated than white people in Illinois.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 6 percent of state, <1 percent of prison pop
      • Latino: 16 percent of state, 13 percent of prison population
      • White: 63 percent of state, 30 percent of prison population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state, <1 percent of prison population
      • Black: 15 percent of state, 56 percent of prison population
  • Indiana

    Indiana

  • Iowa

    Iowa

  • Kansas

    Kansas

  • Kentucky

    Kentucky

  • Louisiana

    Louisiana

  • Maine

    Maine

  • Maryland

    Maryland

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: State Govt Code § 2-2A-01 and Md. Elec. Law Art. § 8-701
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 18,476
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 305 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021, 2018): Black Marylanders are 5.2 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Marylanders. Rural areas have accounted for much of the increase in imprisonment since 2005.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 7 percent of state, <1 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 9 percent of state, 4 percent of prison population
      • White: 53 percent of state, 25 percent of prison population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state, 1 percent of prison population
      • Black: 31 percent of state, 69 percent of prison population
  • Massachusetts

    Massachusetts

  • Michigan

    Michigan

  • Minnesota

    Minnesota

  • Mississippi

    Mississippi

  • Missouri

    Missouri

  • Montana

    Montana

  • Nebraska

    Nebraska

  • Nevada

    Nevada

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: Rev. Stat. § 360.288
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 12,840
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 413 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black Nevadans are over 4 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Nevadans.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 10 percent of state population, 2 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 28 percent of state population, 20 percent of prison population
      • White: 52 percent of state population, 43 percent of prison population
      • Native American: 1 percent of state population, 2 percent of prison population
      • Black: 9 percent of state population, 31 percent of prison population
  • New Hampshire

    New Hampshire

  • New Jersey

    New Jersey

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative redistricting only.
    • Relevant statute: J. Stat. § 52:4-1.2
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 18,613
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 210 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black people are more than 12 times more likely to be incarcerated than white people in New Jersey. New Jersey has the highest Black/white incarceration disparity in the country.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 10 percent of state population, 1 percent of prison population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state population, <1 percent of prison population
      • White: 57 percent of state population, 21 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 20 percent of state population, 16 percent of prison population
      • Black: 14 percent of state population, 61 percent of prison population
  • New Mexico

    New Mexico

  • New York

    New York

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and local redistricting only.
    • Relevant statute: Y. Legis. Law § 83-m(13)
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 43,439
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 224 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black New Yorkers are 7.8 times more likely to be incarcerated than white New Yorkers.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 9 percent of state population, <1 percent of prison population
      • White: 56 percent of state population, 24 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 19 percent of state population, 24 percent of prison population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state population, 1 percent of prison population
      • Black: 15 percent of state population, 48 percent of prison population
  • North Carolina

    North Carolina

  • North Dakota

    North Dakota

  • Ohio

    Ohio

  • Oklahoma

    Oklahoma

  • Oregon

    Oregon

  • Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania

    • Type of reform: Counts people in state prisons not serving life sentences as residents at their last home address for state legislative redistricting.
    • Relevant policyLegislative Reapportionment Commission Resolution 4A
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 45,485
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 355 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021, 2018): Black Pennsylvanians are 7.3 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Pennsylvanians; Latino Pennsylvanians, 2.75 times more likely; and Native American Pennsylvanians, 2 times more likely.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 4 percent of state population, <1 percent of prison population
      • White: 78 percent of state population, 43 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 7 percent of state population, 10 percent of prison population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state population, <1 percent of prison population
      • Black: 11 percent of state population, 47 percent of prison population
  • Rhode Island

    Rhode Island

  • South Carolina

    South Carolina

  • South Dakota

    South Dakota

  • Tennessee

    Tennessee

  • Texas

    Texas

  • Utah

    Utah

  • Vermont

    Vermont

  • Virginia

    Virginia

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: Va Code § 24.2-314
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 36,091
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 422 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black Virginians are 4.3 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Virginians.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 7 percent of state population, <1 percent of prison population
      • Native American: <1 percent of state population, <1 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 9 percent of state population, 2 percent of prison population
      • White: 64 percent of state population, 38 percent of prison population
      • Black: 20 percent of state population, 53 percent of prison population
  • Washington

    Washington

    • Type of reform: Counts incarcerated people as residents at home address for legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • Relevant statute: Rev. Code § 44.05.140
    • In effect for 2021 cycle? Yes
    • Incarcerated population (2019): 19,184
    • Incarceration rate (2019): 250 per 100,000
    • Incarceration disparities (2021): Black Washingtonians are 5.3 times more likely to be incarcerated than white Washingtonians.
    • Demographics (2018):
      • Asian American/Pacific Islander: 10 percent of state population, 4 percent of prison population
      • White: 72 percent of state population, 60 percent of prison population
      • Latino: 11 percent of state population, 13 percent of prison population
      • Native American: 2 percent of state population, 5 percent of prison population
      • Black: 5 percent of state population, 18 percent of prison population
  • West Virginia

    West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

    Wisconsin

  • Wyoming

    Wyoming