Prison gerrymandering is the problem where incarcerated individuals are counted at correctional institutions on Census Day, instead of in their home communities. The result are political districts where the votes of individuals in districts containing correctional facilities are weighted more heavily than in other districts. Rhode Island, with all of the state’s correctional facilities on a single campus, has some of the most prison gerrymandered districts in the United States.

After a decade of advocacy by Common Cause Rhode Island and allies, a portion of the population of the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI) counted in the 2020 Census was reassigned to their actual residences, partially ending the practice of prison gerrymandering in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, only those not serving sentences, or serving sentences of three years or less were reassigned, resulting in only 42% of those counted at the ACI on Census Day being put in their home districts.

Common Cause Rhode Island continues to advocate a full and permanent solution to this problem through legislation.

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