“Census Bureau, Activists Debate How and Where to Count Inmates”

The Washington Post offers this report, which begins: “Since the first U.S. census in 1790, there has been a rule for keeping track of the convicts sitting in prisons: They are counted in the state and region where they are serving their time, not necessarily the place they did their crime or will call home once they are out of the joint. How to count inmates historically has not been a big issue. But the fast-expanding prison population — now about 1.5 million — is prompting a debate because government spending and electoral district boundaries are in part decided by population. Opponents say the practice unfairly rewards rural, often sparsely populated regions where many prisons are built, at the expense of the cities where many prisoners had resided.” Thanks to Jeff Wice for the pointer.

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