Could prisoners skew the census data, and, by extension, the redistricting process? For sure, according to one advocacy group.
The Prison Policy Initiative
says just that — that the prisoner population is skewing the census, enough to put the redistricting process into question.
Check out this fact sheet:
"District 59, claims the populations of multiple prisons, and has only 19,200 actual residents. Every group of 85 residents in this district are given just as much influence as 100 residents of districts without prisons."
, talking about just how flawed the process is, puts this issue on her list
. Kim Hynes, writing for Common Cause, says that the meetings of the Redistricting Commission "took place behind closed doors, bringing to mind the cliché of the old smoke filled rooms."
Another of the Initiative's fact sheets suggests that counting prison populations within districts dilutes the minority vote:
CT Prison African Americans Latinos
"75% of the state's prison cells are located in disproportionately white house districts"
and: "The majority-white residents of 6 State House districts get signiﬁcantly more representation in the legislature because each of their districts includes more than 1,000 incarcerated African-Americans and Latinos from other parts of the state."